Every “bad” thing is purposed for our spiritual growth. The things that fill our lives, our closets, our pantries, our agendas that we appreciated to a degree become consecrated through our new eyes of faith to see the hand of our God who gave them to us. We learn to give thanks in all things, even for the shirts and socks and winter jacket.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Rom. 8:28, NKJV)
There it sat. Too big to fit under the twinkling Christmas tree, but glittering right there beside it. A brand new, shiny red Schwinn bicycle, the Cadillac of bikes in its day. I was thrilled. But when it came to my other presents – shirts, socks, a winter jacket – not so much. I may have been alone in my disappointment in receiving clothes for Christmas, but I doubt it.
This was in a day when parents would wait until Christmas to buy things for their children. “Maybe you’ll get that for Christmas,” was their tease. The prospect certainly tided me over. The wait made it special. Involved was more than a present; it was a dance.
That’s not the way our heavenly Father has ever approached His gift giving. Jesus reminds us that our Father gives us good gifts if we ask Him (Matt. 7:11). And He doesn’t just wait until Christmas. Every day is filled with good things from the hand of our God. We need only open our eyes to behold His mercies morning by morning, each sunrise revealing an array of blessings.
Moreover, God’s gift giving not only pertains to some things; it extends to all things. Paul explains: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28). The lives of God’s children are filled with indications of His presence, waiting to be unwrapped through the eyes of faith.
This notion that all things are good might cause us to scratch our heads, especially when we consider how many bad things sometimes happen in our day. Clothes for Christmas might have been a bad thing to a young me, but at least I had a good thing or two to make up for it.