For the Lord is good. His loyal love endures, and he is faithful through all generations. - Psalms 100:5
That particular Psalm is printed on a piece of decor I have in my home. I am rearranging my living room decor and have recently put this piece, a stone with the words printed on it, in a central place on my dining room buffet.
The piece was given to me by someone I once called ‘friend’. She broke that friendship off one day out of the blue. There had been no argument between us. I had thought everything was perfectly fine up until that day. She and some other ‘friends’ snubbed me in front of my Sunday school class which they had been a part of until that day.
Yet the piece of decor with the Scripture on it brought a smile to my face when I read the words of Psalm 100:5 again this morning. I have a Friend who will never leave me and that Friend is God.
I then began to think of other gifts I’ve received throughout my life. I like gifts. My mother showered me with gifts on my birthday and at Christmas because they brought back memories of when she was a child. Her parents were poor. She and her brothers never received many gifts except for one Christmas when her father had some extra money on hand. He showered her and her brothers with gifts that Christmas. She wanted to re-create the joy she felt at receiving all those gifts that year for me. As a result I had more toys as a child than I knew what to do with.
Yet I still enjoyed receiving gifts. I cherish the gifts my children have given me through the years. Also part of my decor are a large brown vase and a small rustic candle holder, both given to me by my sweet sons not on any particular day or occasion but just because they wanted to give their mom a gift. I’ll never forget each of those days I received those two items.
Then there were the ‘years of gifts’ which recalls an interesting time in my life’s journey. The piece of decor with the Psalm on it falls into that category. It was a period of time when I received many gifts. I was thrilled with each one and saw them as a blessing from God, which they were but not in the way I was thinking about them at the time. Some of the gifts were anonymously given to me while at the same time others were given to me with my knowledge of who the giver was.
And then one day my world came crashing down all around me; the climactic moment was the day of the aforementioned snubbing. Those women who snubbed me had all at one time or another given me gifts. I realized I’d been duped. They were never really my friends in the first place. I came to realize that sometimes gifts are given from the heart, like the ones my sons gave me; and sometimes gifts are given for purposes of manipulation and deceit.
And now looking back on that time in my life, I know God had a reason for me to receive all those gifts from those women. I’ve come to realize that the most precious gifts are not the ones we can feel, touch, and put on our dining room buffets. The most precious gift of all is of course God’s only Son, Jesus Christ, who died for the sins of His people. But there are other gifts too from God like our family and the life lessons that He teaches us.
Those gifts that those women gave me were blessings alright but not the gifts themselves, it was the lesson that I learned from that experience which is the real gift. That lesson drew me closer to God the Father and He is the ultimate gift. Knowing Him and being in His presence is the greatest gift of all.