On December 23, I was in Value Village when I remembered I needed to buy one last Christmas gift. I perused the books in the Religion and Spirituality section and came across two pristine copies of Ann Voskamp’s devotional, One Thousand Gifts. It’s based on the story of how Voskamp recognized God’s grace in her daily life and discovered the power of gratitude. It’d be perfect for my friend. I didn’t know what I would do with the second copy, but I bought them both.
The next day another friend called belatedly to accept my offer to come for Christmas dinner. I could give the second book to her. God knew what I needed, I thought, without fully realizing how unusual the find was. Since then, I have been to a number of thrift stores and have not seen many books I wanted to buy for myself, let alone give as gifts.
I felt grateful for God’s attentiveness to our needs and humbled by it too. After all, I want God to look after my needs, but I don’t like giving up control of when or how those needs are met.
But as I struggle to let go of control, God continues to give: food and health, good work and rest, sunsets and beginnings, a kind word, a loving embrace, a rescue in the nick of time. Sometimes the gift is being able to look back on a difficult time and see how it has become a blessing. God loves taking care of us. The question is: will I let go and let God do it?
“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best
for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and
the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.”
– Matthew 6:30-33 (The Message)