Archive for February 25th, 2008

The Father’s Gifts

Monday, February 25th, 2008

Today’s scripture: Matthew 7:9-11 (ESV-text and audio) (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Theresa Benson):

Having grown up in a low income, single-parent home for most of my childhood, I had no experience buying “real” jewelry until just last year, when a department store was going out of business and I got some great 80% off deals. Even then, my purchases were rather modest by most standards.

These days, I have a wonderful boyfriend who has often on the weekends taken me to the different jewelry stores here in the area to get a sense of my “jewelry style.” One Saturday, he had me try on a diamond bracelet, which was beautiful and made me feel (I must admit) like a princess. I’d never had something so sparkly on my wrist before. He asked me to rate how much I liked it on a scale of 1 to 10.

After some deliberation, I rated it a conservative “8.9,” even though in my heart it was like a 14.

Later that same weekend he took me to another store, and I saw a beautiful yellow- and white-gold bracelet that I just knew had to be much much less expensive than the first bracelet, and so when he asked me how this one ranked, I immediately beamed that it was easily a 12 out of 10.

He gave me a puzzled look, and asked me if I was sure — was the modest bracelet really so much more beautiful to me, even though my face glowed when I had the other bracelet on?

He asked if we could talk about it, and I realized during the course of that conversation that I had been afraid to tell him what I really liked. I was afraid for reasons he never gave me — it was all old messages still running through my head from my childhood.

  • If I tell him what I like, he might think my tastes are too expensive or I’m a snob and not like me anymore.
  • If I tell him what I like, he might extend himself financially, and I would hate to impose on him like that for something so frivolous.
  • If I tell him what I like, then he’ll know exactly what to withhold in order to make me sad — he’ll have some control over me and I’ll be vulnerable.
  • If I tell him what I like, I just might get it, and then what do I do?

How amazing is that? The generous but simple act of my boyfriend wanting to know what kind of jewelry I like — he never even said he was going to buy anything — made all this old fear came up and I was censoring myself before I even said a thing.

If I do it with something this small, how many times have I done that with God?

We should be able to bring everything in our lives to God — the good and the bad, and ask for providence in all we do. But how many times have I felt that my dreams are too big or my problems too small to bother God with them? After all, God has much more important things to do, and besides, I’m probably asking for too much already.

I can’t tell you how silly it looks now to write on paper that I’m afraid I might be asking the Infinite Creator for “too much.”

Thought for the day: If a person I’m in relationship with can love me enough to ask my preferences in gift-giving, how much more does my Father in heaven want to know about me — my dreams and wishes, my desire for a clear purpose, and so much more!

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
Be still and know… is proudly powered by WordPress.