Autumn has always been my favorite time of year. The weather is just right bringing no abundance of heat or cold. The transition from summer to autumn provides nature lovers an exquisite array of colors of leaves boasting their beauty before falling aimlessly to the ground. The main reason, however, that I like this time of year so much is that my birthday falls in November. Yes, my birthday. It is a time for cards and gifts one month before Christmas. What’s more than that is that I get more cards and gifts for Christmas. Oh how I love the gifts I receive.
This November brings me to 42 years of existence. That’s a short life when I compare it to my grandmother’s age. God has blessed her to be twice my age and upwards of a decade more. My grandparents and yours, our parents and even the two of us have received gifts we don’t even know about. There are gifts that we never opened from our birth day. Indeed, regardless of our ages, God gave us gifts when we were born and some of those gifts we have opened and some remain wrapped and untouched just waiting on the day for those big boxes to be ripped open and change our lives-even someone else’s life for His glory.
Why haven’t we opened those gifts from our birth day? Did God hide them from us? I get it. I know what He’s doing. Maybe we have to be good in order to open those gift boxes he stashed away for us. Or maybe we have to appreciate the gifts we already have and operate in them to our fullest potential before we can open the next gift. Could that be it? It can’t be. Is it because when we see our family and friends and others who work in, live in, and drive in the benefits of operating in their gifts, we want their gifts instead of our own? Our gifts could be better than the gifts of our friends and family but will we ever know? How can we get to those gifts we haven’t opened yet? After all, who gives you a gift on your birthday and not allow you to open it?
That is the difference between God’s gifts and gifts of men. If you gave me a bright new television for my birthday all wrapped up, I’m going to rip off the paper, plug it in and watch it immediately. On my next birthday, you may even get me a nice surround system to hear the hits even clearer on NFL Sunday. Oh, but the gifts I have already opened on my birthday from God is a different story. I have about two or three of them I’m using right now. The problem is that I don’t use them the way I should to fully impact my life and the lives of the members of my family. I don’t use them to impact the lives of others as God intended me to do. So where is His glory? Yes, he gave me gifts but when it comes down to it, my gifts are for His glory. So are the gifts He gave you. In fact, you and I may not directly benefit from the gifts He gave us. The benefits of our gifts may very well be for someone else. I’m not going to complain because I do understand that it’s not for my own glory.
Here’s what I think friends. Until we learn to appreciate the gifts we have already opened and develop and operate in them to their fullest, we won’t get to open another gift from our birth day. Until we can truly rejoice with those close to us who are enjoying the benefits of operating in their God-given gifts, we won’t get to open another gift from our birth day. The truth is that God hasn’t hidden the gifts. We are just too preoccupied to sit down with Him and open them.