What do you do with the gift you don’t want?  Sometimes we react to a gift negatively because it wasn’t on our list, or we don’t see a need for it.  We can handle this situation a lot of different ways.  Giving them to charity, returning them, regifting them, selling them online, stashing them away and trashing them are all ways we deal with the unwanted item.

What if we get an unwelcomed gift from God?  This year I got a gift I didn’t want.  The last two and half years have been a long journey dealing with Coronary Artery Disease.  After a bypass and 3 stents, this Christmas I got stent number 4.  I didn’t want it and to be honest, still don’t.  It isn’t that I’m not grateful for all the people God used to save my life once again.  I am.  I just didn’t want it.

So, how do we handle it when we get a gift we don’t want, especially when it’s from God?

1. I have to trust the giver.  I have to remember he knows me and loves me more than anyone else.  And in whatever gift he gives, he only gives it out of this great love and intimate knowledge.

2. I have to realize that the gift may not be THE gift.  My arteries are giving me fits.  Instead of seeing these as a faulty gift.  The gift really is all the love, grace, support, encouragement and strength that God has given me through this.  I live each day more intentionally.  I experience God in new ways.  Through a daily dependence, he has become more real to me. And my arteries provide the opportunity to know and experience all this.

3. I have to remember that no gift is for me alone.  God gives me gifts so I can use them to bless others.  In giving me my gifts, God always has a bigger mission in mind.  He wants my gifts to help others experience the riches of his grace.  Doctors, nurses, others who suffer hard situations, those living in fear of the reality of mortality, are all people I understand and love more than I ever did before.

I may not want the gift.  In fact, if I had my druthers, I’d forego all this.  And one day God may heal me, that’s what I hope for!  But until then, I will trust the giver, I will see the gifts that surround this gift I didn’t want, I will share my gift with others.

Let me just add:  this isn’t a one-time shift in perspective.  It is a journey. 

What gift didn’t you want?
How are you handling it?