He reached down and tipped my chin, “I have a gift for you” he said. I grinned like a child and lifted my arms to receive. But the gift was heavy and difficult to carry. Its wrapping was frayed and torn, not so pretty as some of the other gifts I’d seen. I stumbled into my home with it and longed to set it down. Instead it stole my sleep and made my days long. The gift consumed my life. It was not what I had dreamed of and was not something I had asked for.
Can’t I give it back, perhaps this is a mistake? I had glimpses of the beauty in the gift, but this was not something I wanted to keep carrying forever. I returned and handed Him my list, and carefully pointed out that the gift I had received, was not on there. Perhaps He had mistaken. The gifts I had chosen for myself were much better. They fit easily into my life and plans. Surely there was someone else better equipped, better trained, and just plain better to receive the gift. But He just smiled down and said “I gave that gift to YOU”, and I trudged back to my day and back to the work. And I sweated great drops and I cried bigger drops. My days swirled with darkness and fatigue; hope and light. The gift was hard and scary and hurt.
As time passed, the gift grew heavier, but the burden seemed lighter. One day, I happened upon the old list. It was well-constructed, with items placed in order of priority. Each item fit perfectly and was not as stressful as the gift He gave me. And as I searched my list, I truly saw it for the first time. My list did not include sleepless nights, tears and pain. My list would never have stretched me or broken me. And as I looked at my list, I realized that it would not have done me any good. It was a list constructed out of selfish ambitions, with an avoidance of pain. It was a list set out to please myself. Fanciful wrappings and curling ambitions packaged my list of gifts that now looked light and meaningless.
Instead He had chosen my beautiful gift knowing I would stumble beneath the weight and fear the tattered wrappings. He had picked this gift knowing that I would lean heavily upon Him. He had picked this gift seeing the potential that I had to carry it, and tears slipped down my face. So, I looked up to Him and with a trembling smile, whispered, “Thank you for seeing in me the potential to deserve such a gift as this.”