April 08, 2021
Prayer: Dear Lord, Please give me the eyes to see the gifts from You all around me. Thank You. Amen.
Scripture: Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10 NIV
On our family visit to the beach over spring break, my husband Russ and daughter Emily Sara endured the cold ocean water to swim out to the sandbar where a treasure of sand dollars had washed up and died. They scooped up a big bucket full and swam back to shore shivering all the way.
I wondered what we were going to do with them all but Emily already had a plan. She waited until no one was walking by and ran down to the shoreline where people tend to walk and placed three sand dollars in the sand and ran back up to where we were sitting. She watched eagerly as some ladies were walking towards the sand dollars. The ladies were looking for seashells and gasped with delight as they spied the beautiful sand dollars lying in their path. They picked them up, joyfully showed them to one another, exclaimed their disbelief at the “luck” of finding them on shore, and walked on so happy with their findings. Emily lay back on her beach towel and giggled then she waited for the coast to be clear and ran down to the shoreline and placed two more sand dollars on the sand.
Moments later a lady passed by and found them. She was so excited and looked around for more. Another lady walked up behind her and the first lady showed off her sand dollars that she found. This led to a search by the second woman who seemed almost frantic to have one too. After a couple of minutes the first lady gave one of her sand dollars to the second lady and walked on down the beach. The second lady turned around and walked quickly back the way she had come. We guessed that she was going to show someone else her gift. This went on all afternoon. Emily laughed and smiled so much her mouth hurt.
On a few occasions, people would pass right by the sand dollars. They were either walking too fast or looking straight ahead instead of looking down at the path. Some people were looking in the wrong place as they passed by and others seemed to look right at them but passed by either uninterested or overlooking the gift that was in plain sight. On these occasions, Emily would get so frustrated, whispering directions under her breath as to try to quietly guide them to the gift she so badly wanted them to receive. At times she thought about chasing after them and handing the sand dollar to them. The one time she tried that, however, the person said, “No thanks” and walked away. The rejection was worse than them not finding it, so she continued all afternoon to run to the water’s edge and then run back to watch those who would accept her gift.
Later that evening, Emily wanted to talk about giving away the sand dollars. She worried that she might be in trouble for giving away what she and her dad had suffered to go out in the cold water to get. “Of course, you are not in trouble!” I exclaimed. “I think you had more fun giving them away than you could have ever had if you had kept them all to yourself.” She said that her “God voice” told her to give them away – even to people she did not know. I explained to her that is how God works and that I was sure that she had made God very proud that day.
You see, God places blessings in our path. As we are searching for Him and His ways we find these blessings. Many times, other people who are on the same path will approach us and we can share about our blessing and sometimes even share the blessing, just like the people who found all two or three of the sand dollars but then gave one to the next person who came along. Sometimes we are so busy or distracted that we pass right by the blessings and never see them. Sometimes, God tries so hard to give us the gift, even pursuing us after we have passed by and sadly, we reject the gift again.
Emily Sara could have kept the whole bucket of sand dollars for herself but she learned that real joy does not come from keeping – it comes from sharing.
What “gifts” has God given you? What blessings has He placed in your path? How can you share them with others? Are you reluctant to share with strangers? How do you react when someone rejects your generosity? God sent His one and only Son into this world as a gift, the ultimate gift, to all of humanity. His hope is that all will receive the gift of His son as their Savior and Lord and therefore receive the gift of eternal life.
My prayer for you is that you would seek and find the blessings God has set in your path and that you would always share.
Copyright Kathy Branzell. Email email@example.com