This week in our small group, Joyful Surrender we are focusing on this verse and theme:
Why would we ever be afraid to open a gift?
I think back to the day of the post office and the white powder (Anthrax?), a 50th birthday party where it might be a gag gift, or the bachelorette party where you might open something embarrassing. Fear has its place in all those moments.
But what about the gift that you are afraid of, or the fear you won't ever receive it?
You've heard the quote God doesn't call the equipped. He equips the called. It's not up to us to decide if we are ready for a gift from him or not. It is up to him. Just like a Christmas list, we might have to get specific.
I'll use an example of shoes here as some of us might relate to that better. If I put on my list "shoes" I could receive just about anything from crocs (😬) to tennis shoes. What I want is size 9 (dutch girl) black patent pumps with a square heel. I might even specify the brand. Leaving no doubt I know exactly what I want.
Now instead of Santa let's ask God for a gift. My list for a desired sober life was vague for many years. "Help me stop drinking, drink like a normal person, help me quit before anyone finds out." He didn't answer my requests for sobriety until I got very clear on what I was asking for. "New life. No shortcuts. I'll do whatever you want. Take it. "
This verse is asking me to share the gift when I receive it. I did not plan on that. I wanted to keep this sobering up secret gift all to myself.
Two of my grandsons are very close in age. When I think about their birthday parties and what would
happen if we made the birthday boy open a present and then pass it to his cousin, it would not end well.
That's what God is asking of us. My example is my recovery. When he gave me the hard-fought gift of sobriety, I thought it was just for me. After all, I knew of no one else in my shoes to share it with, much less want it! The next thing I know, he is telling me I have to share it. WHAT!. I tried to keep it to myself, a secret between God and me. He had other plans.
2 Corinthians 12:7–10 The Message:
"Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
My grace is enough; it's all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become."
This quote from Sober Cyle-Pedaling Through Recovery One Day At a Time; sums up what it was like for me to receive the gift of his grace.
"However, it was up to me to give up my endless search for a way out when the answer had been right in front of me the whole time. I had to trust him with all of my heart and be willing that I would do whatever he asks of me. When I did, the miracle of a brand-new life became possible."
His grace is all you need.
What gift is sitting on your lap right now? You've torn a little bit of the wrapping away but are afraid to open it all the way. Ultimately, revealing it will take courage; sharing it will take obedience, and obedience will bring you freedom.
Isn't it freedom that you have been asking for?
Let go of the bondage and open up the gift of a whole new life free from addiction. Not sure how to do this? Send me a message, and I'll share some ideas with you. In other words, I will share my present with you.