Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hope Deferred

I'm still reeling with joy for my first-born son and the "gift of all gifts" we were able to give him last night.  My mind took a snap shot of the light in his eyes and I won't forget it (how I wish I'd taken a picture!).

Because even though for months we'd been telling him NOT to expect a car for his birthday, NOT to think too much about the possibility, NOT to waste time looking for something we/he could afford. . .

The Lord provided something above and beyond all we could ask or think.

He has a way of doing that.

And even though we had planned on getting him a car sometime before next Summer (so he could drive to and from work), we had no intention of doing it any sooner.

And even though he knew any car we were able to find (and afford!) wouldn't be "his", but rather the "kids" car (like the one cell phone they share), we had no plan to have said car ON his birthday.

But God is a God of miracles.  And surprises.

I can still see my boy's face.

The awe.  Wonder.  Joy.  Delight.  SURPRISE.

In God's provision of something he hadn't expected.  Hadn't thought would happen for a long time (let's admit it, six months IS a long time when you are 16).

I went to bed last night, filled with the JOY it gave my heart to make HIS heart so happy.

Isn't that how God is with us?

"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"

I'm not stupid enough to think this verse is talking about cars.  Or trucks, as the case may be.

But it DOES show us our Heavenly Father's JOY in giving us what we ask for.  What we need.  In this passage, specifically, the gift of the Holy Spirit.

I had been trying for months to defer Son #1's hope.  Because Proverbs says, "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick:"  I didn't want him to be disappointed when his birthday gift wasn't a set of keys.  I wanted to protect him from that heart sickness.

Life is full of too much of that, as it is. . . at least in my mother-heart's perspective.

Because sometimes that hope deferred is God's perfect will.  I don't understand it, but I trust it.  Or I try to.

I don't understand why our plans for running my 4th half-marathon were ended by a leg injury.  Don't understand it, don't like it.

I had hopes.  I had trained.  I was excited, looking forward to it, SO wanting to feel that rush that comes at the finish line (OK, I'm romanticizing - there is serious pain, too!).

And then hopes that I could recover and still compete in the race at a slower pace.

Hopes that the first doctor's appointment would reveal a solution.

Hopes that the second doctor's appointment and x-rays would show what was wrong (and maybe that I could still run?)

But all of that has past and I still have no answers.  Heart.  Sick.

Then seeing my man-child last night, when we gave him that AWESOME gift, his eyes, his hesitancy to actually BELIEVE that the truck sitting there would be HIS to drive. . .

It reminded me that my Heavenly Father only gives good gifts.

Sometimes they LOOK good to me.

Sometimes they don't.

My dad's cancer sure didn't seem like a good gift (and I still don't understand fully that it was), but I will never forget hearing him SAY the words.  "God gives good gifts.  My cancer is a good gift."  Sure, I've seen blessings from the experience.  And years down the road (6, I think?) I can look back on it without the sick feeling in my gut.  God healed him.  And has used him mightily to encourage others.

I could give you many examples of "good gifts" that sure don't seem good to me.  My dad still lives with MS each and every day.  We still lost a baby 6 years ago (that was a rough year!).  Bad things still happen.  And will continue to.

I guess it comes back to TRUSTing the giver.

 "But when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life."

So far I have learned some things, I suppose.  I love to run.  Even when it hurts.  I love training with my Coach, even when he runs two feet ahead of me for 10 miles (grin).  I love setting a goal and accomplishing it. I love ANY excuse to get away with my favorite-person-in-the-world/husband-of-(almost)-17-years for the weekend.  And I may be just a TAD bit stubborn.  Maybe.

But when I CAN run, again?  I am telling you I will be GRATEFUL that I can.  Remind me of that next time I whine, OK?

For now, I'm going to smile just thinking about how happy my boy is.  And I'm going to let myself be silly-excited about the weekend away.  And I'm going to clean and launder and cook and get this house presentable so our sweet cousin-babysitters don't faint dead away when they walk in the door.  They will need all of their strength just to survive a weekend with the troops!  HA!

A good gift.

No, not the one I was hoping for.

But a good gift.

Thank you, Heavenly Father, that I can trust the gifts you give.  Most of all, the gift of salvation, eternal life, and hope in this life.  Your Holy Spirit, Your promise of the resurrection, the gifts of your Spirit, Your character. .  for giving us YOU . . . Baby Jesus, God-Man, sent to save the souls of mankind.

The best gift of all.

Happy Thursday!

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