Do you have a gift certificate you’ve never redeemed? It’s estimated that in 2013, $1 billion worth of gift cards were never cashed in.

I’ll confess that I’ve contributed to that stat.We say "Thankyou for the food", but ungratefully leave other gifts from the Father unwrapped in the crevices of our heart...

My husband gave me a Valentines gift certificate in February. But I didn’t redeem it until now–nearly nine months later.

It was a gift certificate for a massage. It was such a thoughtful gift because we had just spent nearly a month pounding in new floors across 1200 square feet—on over-zealous DIY project. He was sure that I would cash in on the gift quickly.

But I didn’t.

Truth is, I never had a massage before. So I didn’t appreciate what a good gift it was. And honestly, since I never had one, I was apprehensive of how much I’d like it. And there were other times that I simply forgot I had it.

I know. I’m an idiot. (Before you give me too hard of a time, just remember, some of you haven’t cashed in on your certificates either.)

It’s crazy that I waited so long to receive such a great gift. Obviously, I didn’t appreciate its worth.

What makes it worse, though, is that I do the same with the amazing gifts from our Heavenly Father. I’m ungrateful because I don’t even receive them. I don’t think I’m alone on this one either.

He gives abundantly. And we neglect to enjoy what he offers. Some gifts are physical – a butterfly flutters across the path, a beautiful sunrise begins the day, a rain shower waters the land. Other gifts are spiritual– He gives wisdom generously. He pours his peace upon us. He offers complete forgiveness. He gave his son. He gives his presence—the gift of the Holy Spirit. And he gives new life.

Missing out on a massage is one thing.

But missing out on these good gifts from the Father is even harder to comprehend. We say, “Thank you for the food,” but ungratefully leave the other gifts from him unwrapped in the crevices of our heart.

  • Perhaps we can’t grasp how good his gifts truly are. We think of him more like the Great Physician who prescribes things that are good for us rather than a Father who wants to give good gifts to his children.
  • Maybe we simply forget. We forget that he said all we have to do is to ask for wisdom and he’d give it generously. We forget that he keeps forgiving. We forget he said he would live inside us so we wouldn’t be alone.
  • Or maybe we’re afraid. We aren’t so sure if being led by the Holy Spirit is as good as leading ourselves. We’re afraid the life he gives won’t be as good as the life we have.

Last week the knot in my shoulder finally reminded me to make an appointment. It was time to cash in. Carol massaged my tight shoulders and stiff neck. And I wondered why in the world did I wait so long?!? I already new that Gary had been wondering that all year.

And I suppose the Heavenly Father wonders the same thing. He must wonder why we act like we are on our own when he gave us the Holy Spirit to guide us. He must wonder why we still walk around feeling guilty when he’s already given forgiveness. And why do we forget that he is so good when he gives us good gifts every day.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be ungrateful to the Heavenly Father for the good gifts he gives.

Will you join me to fully receive his gifts with gratitude? Let’s not forget about them. Or be afraid of them.

Let’s receive them.

And you can be sure that if Gary gives me a gift certificate for a massage again—hint,hint–I’ll quickly redeem it.




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