I’m sure I’m not the only mom who holds her breath a little on Christmas morning. This year as I watched my unaware and brutally honest ten year old open gifts, I never could quite anticipate his response. My genuinely appreciative child also hasn’t learned the art of expressing gratitude before he fully can understand the gift.
“Well I don’t really know what this is, so...”
“I’ve never heard of this book, so...”
“Hope this one works because the last one didn’t.”
“I’m not sure I’ll be able to do this, so...”
My husband and I sit slightly amused and slightly mortified, prompting and coaching and correcting- “We will help you with it!” “I think you’ll enjoy it.” *whispered* “Thank your grandma.”
He loves all his gifts. The engineering kit that was “too hard” sure enough came with directions and his dad helped him through. The book he’d never heard of was a hit. He’s learning the art of spoken gratitude rooted in trust for those who love him, and the humility to recognize that there is more in the world than he is aware of.
This morning as I came to this verse in Ephesians, I thought of how our response to God’s gifts are often the same. Because sometimes the gifts aren’t what we expect. Sometimes we think they’ll be too hard for us. Sometimes we feel like He didn’t hear what we really asked for and gave us a dud instead.
But the Father knows what we really need. He knows what really brings joy. He knows we will be able to do it- with His help. We just need to trust Him and learn to accept those gifts with open hands of gratitude.
2020 was a doozy. I’m not sure what 2021 holds, but it’s probably not what we expect! Lord, may we open our hands, accept your good and unexpected gifts, and trust that You are good.