James 1:17 (NIV) Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
It was a typical Wednesday morning. My (Melissa) 7-year-old was desperately trying to convince me that he was too sick for school, (but not too sick for a day of video games on the couch) so he was moving at a snail’s pace when it came to dressing and assembling his backpack. And, quite honestly, I wasn’t moving much quicker. All of this compounded made us late getting out the door. Which meant I would have to fight even more traffic in the school drop off line.
There was only one thing to do after a morning that started like this. So I pulled into the drive through lane at Starbucks. Surely a hot, steamy vanilla latte would make everything better! Apparently every other person in town had the same idea that morning as I inched forward in the lane for minutes that carried on for hours. My frustration grew. My patience waned. And my day was quickly spiraling from bad to worse.
Finally arriving at the window, I took my coffee from the barista and offered her my debit card for payment. She shook her head.
“No charge today. The lady in front of you paid for you coffee. Have a great day.”
And she waved me on my way.
Wait. What? Someone bought a cup of coffee? For me? But why? And what had I done to deserve this generosity?
Not a thing. Simply pulled into the drive through lane to buy a latte. What a wonderful gift! And on a day when I could really use it! My mood lightened immediately and I couldn’t wait to share this wonderful turn in my day with everyone!
Then I heard a faint stirring in my heart accompanied by a loving whisper.
“Never forget. My gifts, too, are always offered to you – gifts of grace, of forgiveness, of peace, and of salvation. You don’t need to do anything to deserve them. You don’t even need to pay for them. That’s already been taken care of. You only need to accept them.”
Wow. What a powerful reminder.
In my heart I know that all of God’s gifts are given to me – and given freely. But, oh, how infrequently it is that I take the time to relish those gifts, to let those gifts be the catalyst for my day, to share these wonderful – these life-changing – gifts with everyone.
Even when we are at our worst, God’s gifts are still ours. Even when our mornings start on those paths that we feel we will never be able to redirect (with our without coffee), His gifts are there to lift us up and carry us through.
This week, will you join me in praising and thanking God for these gifts? For these good and perfect gifts? For these gifts that we don’t deserve, but have been given to us so generously?
Let us always be reminded:
John 1:16 (NIV) Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.