Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Giver

Don’t you just love receiving gifts? I do. A few months ago, some friends were visiting and as we were driving, I started pointing out a few rogue patches of wildflowers that were growing in random places on the highway or roadsides in our area.   

And just off the cuff, perhaps I may have said, “I love wildflowers!”  I do. I love their vibrant colors, I love the way their stems grow long and tall and then bow with the fruit of their flowers. I love the randomness of where they pop up and their ability to thrive and survive in the most obscene and toughest of environments. Or perhaps, I didn’t say anything at all.  Perhaps my pointing out the wildflowers was enough to plant a love idea in my friend’s heart.

Later in that journey, we stopped at a store to pick up a few items. I noticed my friend purchased a bag of potting soil and I remember thinking, “That’s random.” But then, you’d have to know my friends!  When we arrived home, I commenced to saying I love you in the language I know best: cooking and feeding people. As I prepared dinner, I’m oblivious to what’s happening around me.

My friend has taken some spare wood from the woodpile along with some nails and crafted me a planter for my deck.  In it, he dumped soil from that bag of potting soil and embedded wildflower seeds in the soil! Imagine my delight and surprise when he and his wife told me what was inside. 

With great diligence and care, I have watered those seeds. Over the last few weeks, the wildflowers have started flowering. Every time I walk onto my deck, I smile at my planter and remember the gift of love and friendship we share with this amazing couple. 

I marvel at how many people struggle with admitting that their primary love language is gifts. For most, it seems selfish to say I love gifts. I don’t feel that way. When someone gives me a gift, whether it’s the gift of their time – friends sharing a cup of coffee, a glass of wine, great conversation over a good meal; whether it’s an act of service or a physical gift (yes, I honestly love those too!) that gift says more than words could ever say.   

It says: I’ve taken the time to KNOW you.  I UNDERSTAND you.  I am CONNECTED to you. When someone gives me a gift, I feel honored. I feel loved. I feel valued. I feel significant.  I am in awe that someone would take some of their precious time to think about what I would like and then more of their precious time to actually go and purchase that gift for me. It makes me feel so special.

The gift to me says you were thinking about me even when I wasn’t in your presence.  The gift says I am important to you. Because of that, I love giving gifts just as much, if not more than receiving them. I plan my gift giving months in advance. I start thinking about what I’m going to get my kids or my husband for their birthday usually the day after their birthday! Because I want it to say, I love you very much, I’m always on the hunt for just the right thing to convey that.  I want my gift to say, I know you.

As I sat today, enjoying the quiet of my home, Holy Spirit highlighted this love language to me. Father God is the ultimate giver. When He gave us the gift of His Son, He was saying to us, “I KNOW YOU. I understand exactly what you need. And I'm going to give you MORE than what you need. I'm giving you the best. I'm giving you fullness. I'm not just fulfilling the law's requirement; I'm giving you relationship. I know your heart's desire. I'm giving you the gift of grace (divine empowerment, unmerited favor).” 

As I reflect on the gift of salvation through grace, I am honored that I was so important to Papa God that He would give me Jesus. Not only did He give me the gift of Jesus, He's given me the keys to His Kingdom. He's given me His authority. He's given me the mind of Christ. He's given me the gift of the Holy Spirit. When I realize the magnitude of His gifts to me, I begin to see just how much God values me and how significant I am to Him.   

That Father God would grant me the gift of a Comforter who would also be the most amazing friend, confidante, and teacher on the face of this planet is almost unreal.  Every day, I get to commune, walk with, talk to, and partner with the most strategic person I've ever met.  Every day, I get the gift of His kindness crashing in on my life. Every day, I'm gifted with His manifest presence, His abiding peace, His magnificent love for me. I'm gifted to walk alongside and do life with the One who reveals more of Father God and Jesus to me. Talk about James 1:17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows,” bursting forth with clarity in my heart! WOW!

As I marveled at the goodness of God, I queried, “If giving gifts is the way I say I love you very much, what have I given to you, Papa? How have I said I know you to you?”  To which He answered, “You gave Me you.  You've submitted yourself in childlike faith to be loved by Me. You, the spotless, unblemished bride fell in love with my Son. You welcome Holy Spirit with abandon. You love others as I have loved you. You draw near. You pursue Me. Your smile is a gift; the color of your eyes. You are my gift.” And so, the melodic answer continued from the heart of Papa God burrowing its way deep into my spirit man. And yet another verse of scripture comes popping alive in my heart, “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! (Ps 139:17)” Oh, that we might receive His magnificent gifts! Oh, that we would offer ourselves as a gift to Him!

All of the five love languages: physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, and gifts accurately portray a part of who God is and who He wants to be to us.  As He is, so are we in this world (1John 4:17). When we love and embrace who we are, when we begin to identify how we hear I love you, how we say I love you to others, it’s easier to show up in our world with self awareness and intentionality. Instead of downplaying those aspects of ourselves that we feel may be misinterpreted, we can embrace and celebrate our uniqueness. 

 I bless you today with permission to be intentionally you. I bless you to evaluate your experiences through the lens of Holy Spirit and grow from them. I bless you to awaken the potential in yourself and others by extending the gift of honor, even when what they carry and walk in is different from you. I call your spirit man to the front and I bless your spirit man to know that YOU are Father’s greatest gift. I bless you to receive the truth that He only gives good and perfect gifts. I bless you to be not only a giver, but also a receiver. May you receive the gift of Father’s love today. May you experience the joy of your salvation today. May your communion with Holy Spirit be deeper and richer today than it was yesterday.

Enjoy the gift of YOU today and enjoy the gift of those around you. But most of all enjoy the gift of Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit.

©Felicia Murrell    2012    All Rights Reserved

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully said Felicia! Profound wisdom and insight! Love it.