Have you ever received a gift that just blew you away? One so generous, thoughtful and spot-on that you just don’t know what to say? That’s what happened here today. The doorbell rang, the kids ran to the door as Jeremy opened it and brought in a huge box marked Excalibur Dehydrator. Folks, this is THE home dehydrator as far as I’m concerned (and as far as many raw foodists are concerned). We’ve been hoping to make room in the budget to save up for one, and here it was! This gift came from some very dear friends (whose names I won’t share because, like many generous souls, I’m pretty sure they’d prefer to remain out of the spotlight).
We opened the box, looked over the dehydrator and were awestruck. Really??? That’s just too generous! As we tried to decide where to put it, I just kept thinking “WOW! How do we say thank you for such a generous gift? I don’t feel worthy!” I kept saying to Jeremy, “But how do we… how do we say thank you for something like that? You can’t just say ‘thank you.’ That doesn’t really cover it.” We thought of Jeremy’s pottery (he’s an excellent potter)… but his wheel isn’t functional at the moment. We thought of hand-building something ceramic… but it’s not as cool as thrown stuff. We weren’t trying to think of paying back; just how to say thank you. We can’t give back in kind. Not right now. We simply don’t have the resources. And I think it would lessen the gift and maybe even hurt our friends’ feelings if we did feel like we needed to give in kind. They didn’t give to be given to; that’s not who they are. They gave because they love us and want to help us on the paths we want to be on. THAT is who they are. Still… we’d like to give something because a simple “thank you” doesn’t express what we’d like to say.
And gradually it dawned on me.
Salvation is the same kind of gift… except more so.
Jesus knew exactly what we needed. He knew what it would take to give it to us… and He gave it anyway.
And Jeremy’s and my response to our friends’ gift is exactly what God is hoping for in response to His gift. God’s love, God’s gift ought to motivate us to follow His commands. Not because we’re under compulsion to do so. Not because God said we had to. Rather, because we realize the gift was perfect. Spot on. Just what we needed. When we needed it most. When we were least capable of providing it for ourselves.
We love because He first loved us.
1 John 4:19
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ.”
Ephesians 2:4, 5
Christianity isn’t a to-do list. It isn’t meant to be something motivated by fear (at least not once some maturity is gained… but that’s a different post). It isn’t even supposed to be about a coming reward. It’s a life lived in service because of gratitude. It’s an acknowledgement of a gift received that wasn’t earned or deserved or warranted. It’s saying every day and with every breath, “God, you gave and I know I can’t repay you, but I want you to know how very VERY grateful I am… so this day, this breath is yours. May it be to your glory.”
You know, I still don’t know what to say to our friends. But I think the fact that their gift helped me to better see something I already knew just makes the gift that much more special. And I think maybe sharing that deeper understanding with you is better than any thank you.
First thing into the dehydrator? Kale chips. :o)