Our loving Heavenly Father gives all of his children gifts. Sometimes we embrace them wholeheartedly immediately because they look just so good. Sometimes we don’t even recognise them as gifts. But if we decide to embrace all the gifts he gives us he will show us how we can use them to give glory to him.
When I was 33 years old, God gave me the best gift ever. It was forgiveness and acceptance, salvation and relationship with him forever through his Son Jesus. I am so unworthy of such an amazing gift, but he gave it anyway, because he loves me. I began to live life in a new way, throwing away the old habits and embracing his ways. My chief desire now was to bring glory to God.
Some years later when my husband left me because he didn’t like Jesus in my life, God gave me his peace that passes understanding and the knowledge that he still had a plan and purpose for my life, even in the turmoil of my life. He put his great loving arms around me and drew me very close to him. Such a good gift. And others saw his peace in me. And the gift continued as I learned to depend more fully on him and not on my circumstances. My relationship with my Saviour grew deeper in the years that followed as my roots went down deep into the soil of his love.
And then came another most wonderful gift. It was a very special godly man who asked me to be his wife. What a gift Mal was to me. We shared life and love and ministry for 11 short and beautiful years. Of course we wanted more time together, but that wasn’t the gift God gave us. The gift was 11 years of a very special marriage in which we were able to glorify God together.
When Mal went to be with Jesus and I was on my own again, those strong and trustworthy loving arms were around me again to comfort and bring his peace. In the years since Mal’s death my relationship with my Lord has continued to deepen as I rely more fully on him each day.
And now I live alone. God has given me the gift of time to think and pray about others more than ever before. What a privilege that is. Life with Jesus gets better every year as he faithfully gives me the gifts of his love, grace and strength to serve him every day.
I’m 66 years old now. I’ve lived half my life with Jesus as my Saviour. I have received many special gifts from my Father’s hand. Whatever gifts he gives me I want to use them to glorify God and enjoy him forever.
I coordinate the YFC Australia Senior Servants ministry which Mal and I pioneered together in Rwanda in 2007. We endeavour to mobilise mature Christians to live alongside and serve YFC national directors in developing nations. I have three married daughters and seven grandchildren.