“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”— John 15:16
It was my husband’s birthday.
I had sparkle in my eyes when I gave him a present. It was a relatively big package, rectangular in shape, in crisp green wrapping. Twine neatly tied in the middle, criss-crossing back and forth arriving at a bow crafted by the sure hands of a woman, who consistently makes an effort to make him feel extra special every same time of the year.
“This will be the best gift he receives today.”, I said to myself.
The joy of gifts are in the giving, not receiving. So before opening his present, it’s customary that he must first guess what’s inside. I love this delay, I always delight in watching the glimmer of excitement in his eyes.
Four years ago, when I was yet a homesick desert girl, I had an LED TV wrapped from Dubai and shipped all the way to his doorsteps. When he got it, he looked at me in Skype with eyes full of joy and surprise. The scene is priceless, something I want to witness over and over.
His child-at-heart smile is the single most fulfilling image I always crave of my husband.
He shook the box. “Maybe a laptop?”, he asked. I nodded my head with a satisfied smile. I gestured for him to open it. Carefully undoing the knot, the wrapper and the paper, he reached a note on which I have written– “For the best chapter of your life.”
The laptop’s price is steep but he just entered Masteral studies and I know, somehow, nothing else could be a better gift than a top of the line, brand new Mac Book. Nothing else. Definitely.
Yet, there’s a clarity that day: God gives gifts in a bigger way. His ways are higher than our ways for sure.
“They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.” – Psalms 145:7
It’s not exactly how I thought the twist and turn of my gift’s fate would unfold, but isn’t it grand the way God gives in grace, in a way that you have no doubt the gift is from Him. I’ve heard all my life: You really can’t outgive God.
The next morning, we were both stunned by a gift that asked Apple to move mighty over — I was positive for pregnancy.
The fact that I don’t know how to converse with kids and the fact that I still act like a baby myself made me not initially become attached to the surprise of unborn life growing inside me, but when I saw the glow of excitement in my husband’s eyes and the way he can’t contain his high, I felt an undeniable tug of love.
So in the end, the Mac only won second.
Truth be told, no one can compete against God in the area of grace, generosity and gift-giving. Ungrudging and munificent, this is the character of God. Not to forget, He has given us His one and only Son.
Blessings come from undecorated obedience to God.
We learn the deeper truths of God perched on the precipice of risk, when we dare to jump off into the great unknown of obedience.
This, surely, was how my husband got his kick-ass 30th birthday gifts. Because he is more in love with God more than me, or his family or anyone.
“Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.” – 1 Peter 1:18-19
To you my dear husband, this is 30.
Thirty is realizing that there will likely be more years ahead than there are behind us. It is also acknowledging that life may no longer be a green field, that certain doors are starting to close, that some choices are irrevocable and that many of the big questions you didn’t understand during our childhood will start to be answered. Thirty is also realizing that despite these answers, there are far more new questions.
Today, we have clearly been outgiven. Cheers to God’s generous gifts for you. For allowing you to experience how it feels to be a student again, for giving you solid pride in what you do at work, for preparing you to be a new dad, for making you a wonderful husband and son, and for the best chapter awaiting.
Don’t fidget about learning statistical functions in excel or worry that your sweetpea is going to be cooked by my current fever and flu or be thrown up by my m̶o̶r̶n̶i̶n̶g̶ 24/7 sickness while we wait for his/her heartbeat.
God doesn’t want to see you waste your gifts on empty ambitions. God doesn’t want to see you waste your gifts on fear. God has been in control of your life for the past 29 years. The years to come are no different. Celebrate this day by letting go of the brakes and allowing Him to take over the pedal of your life.
Happy Birthday, Love.
Just like the time-warp wife’s quest: while my pursuit for you might be over, the pursuit for your heart is and will always be an ongoing passion of mine.