Have you ever received a gift that at the time you couldn’t see using but later it became one of the best gifts you ever received? Most of the time this is something practical instead of something fun. It is something we need but don’t really want. Picture this, it is Christmas morning and you still have one gift to unwrap and you still haven't received that one thing you really wanted. As you rip open the paper you realize that this gift isn’t what you wanted, it is socks. Do you need more socks? Sure, half of yours have holes in them but that is just not what you wanted.
I think we look at God’s gifts to us like this very often. We know that God is the ultimate provider and gift-giver but we question His gifts all the time. We do this because we cannot see the big picture as God does. Matthew 7:9-11 says, “What man among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks
for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” This verse shows God as the caregiver and provider we know He is. God gives us exactly what we need at the exact time we need it but that is not the way we see it or want it. We think we know what we want but it is far from what God wants for us.
Why does God give us gifts that we don’t want? Although there are countless reasons I am sure, I think most of them boil down to this. We are asking for the wrong things. As you see from the verse above we are the children asking our father for bread when we need a stone, or a fish when we need a snake. Now I will be honest with you, I am not sure why we would need a stone over bread or a snake over a fish but there is a reason behind every gift that God gives us. Many times it involves having patience and allowing God’s way to develop in front of us. It takes laying down our ways and learning to walk the road God has for us even when we can’t see the end.
There are so many blessings in our lives that we claim to be a mistake when it is what is best for us. It is a tough pill to swallow but once we accept that God only gives us what is best for our future we can live a much happier and peaceful life. Choose to see everything as an opportunity instead of a challenge.
Let me leave you with one last thought. One of my favorite old country songs has a verse that says, “Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers”. I have always liked that verse because that is not how we look at our unanswered prayers normally, but it is often true. Maybe that prayer that is going unanswered is a gift from God. Maybe He is using your time to teach you something as you wait.
I challenge you to take a moment to look back on past gifts that God gave you that seemed to be wrong at the time but ended up being exactly what you needed.