If you've read my first two posts (One Lonely Birthday and Gifts) about my season of gifts, you might suspect the next phase on the horizon for me. A dry season. A falling away.
There came a time when I began to get lazy in my morning habit of stepping into the presence of God’s love and asking Him for a special gift. I was struggling with some doctrinal issues that made me question His love and I had not drawn near to Him for many weeks. As I began to emerge out of the problem and lessen the distance between myself and God, I noticed that I hadn’t been asking Him for gifts. It was because I felt I had disappointed Him with my wrestlings and my distance. I wanted to ask but I felt unworthy. After dodging the issue for awhile, I tried to ask Him for a gift one night on my way home from work, but the words simply would not form. So entangled in doubt, disappointment and guilt, I took the mental breath to begin, and then just couldn't. The unformed words died away and I gave up.
The very next morning as I was out with the dogs. I heard an animal noise I hadn't yet learned to recognize. Was it a bird, a squirrel, an elk? As you know by now, one of my big thrills and desires is to see wildlife actually on our property. Though I was in the middle of my morning routine before work, I simply had to investigate. I put the dogs back in the house and began walking toward the sounds. On my way, I saw two coyotes running along our property edge. This wasn't even the sound I'd been hearing but it was so cool seeing them quietly running. Eventually I saw the makers of the noise; two female elk pleasantly walking in the meadow across the gravel road from our place. I saw them gracefully jump the neighbor's fence and into his pasture. Up till then this was the closest glimpse I'd had of elk near our land. I was thrilled. A little while later on my 25 mile drive to work I saw two deer, a buck and a doe. We NEVER see deer. Then I saw two bald eagles sitting in “the eagle trees” closer to town. I call them the eagle trees because in the winter a bald eagle is sometimes sitting in these ghostly dead pine trees. I always checked them, but eagles were not always in them. That day there were two. Wow! Gifts galore.
Technically, I hadn't even actually asked for another gift. But God knew my heart missed our special gift encounters. He knew my heart wanted to ask. He considered my feeble and failed attempt to be a prayer. He answered the prayer of my heart, if not the prayer of my lips. With not just one wildlife sighting but four. And everything in pairs. Though I couldn't even form the words to ask, God answered. Double time and quadrupled. It was as if He went over the top and then doubled it to tenderly shout at me, “YES! Yes, I want to give you gifts every day! Even when you're distant and hesitant to be near Me! I WANT to give to you! I want you to come near!”
Wow. What a gift inside a gift it all was.
Tomorrow I'll wrap up this gift series (oh, what clever puns she writes) with some of the things I gleaned from it. See you then....