This time of year many people associate gifts with the brightly wrapped presents under the Christmas tree. While these are nice, they are not what spring to mind when I hear the word gifts.
Some gifts are delights that show up at random times of the year. These bring unexpected treasures or experiences to indulge in. Recently my husband responded to a tweet from a local newspaper and the next day received an email saying he’d won two tickets to a popular dinner theatre. Several days later we enjoyed a delicious dinner and a performance of Miracle on 34th Street. Our evening out was appreciated all the more because it was nothing we earned or deserved, just a gift freely given.
This reminded me of the gifts God gives me. There is no need to earn his love. I didn’t deserve the sacrifice Jesus made for me. The many blessings I receive from God are freely given. These gifts are much greater than anything material riches can provide.
As writers we know God gives us the gifts of words. Many years ago my mother shared a New Year’s Prayer with me. The author is unknown so I can’t give credit to the one who penned them. These words are a gift I now share with you as you prepare to enter 2017.
May God make your year a happy one,
Not by shielding you from sorrow and pain,
But by strengthening you to bear it, if it comes.
Not by making your path easy,
But by making you sturdy enough to travel any path.
Not by taking hardships from you,
But by taking all cowardice and fear from your heart.
Not by granting you unbroken sunshine,
But by keeping your face bright, even in the shadows.
Not by making your life always pleasant,
But by showing you where man and his cause need you most,
And by making you anxious to be there, and to help.