In the last few weeks, I've had the opportunity to be on the receiving end of several wildly incomprehensible gifts. My parents provided for me to go on a skiing trip (my first ever!), then my car broke down and they once again stepped up to the plate, then some friends offered provide for me to spend time with another friend before a long (and I expect difficult) separation.
It makes me very nervous to be on the receiving end of gifts. I love giving gifts, but I always feel awkward and uncomfortable taking them - especially when there is no way in Hades that I can repay.
As I thought through why this is, it dawned on me that this is also how I view my friend and Heavenly Father. He often wants to give me gifts and blessings - all the way from unexpected sunshine to opportunities that are beyond my wildest imaginations.
Yet, every time, I resist the impulse to take His gifts graciously. Similar to my friends and family, I say "No, I won't let you do that for me. I'll figure out a way to give myself that same thing. And if I can't, if I'm not self-sufficient enough to make it happen, then I don't deserve it."
When I say that, when I respond in that way, I don't realize until far too late that I'm hurting the person who longs to give to me.
How much more, I wonder, do I hurt God when I reject His gifts and try to claim self-sufficiency?
"Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow." (James 1.17)