Advent Day 4 – Gifts
The love language of some people involves giving and receiving gifts.  It is not my love language.  Consequently, as I enter the month of December I know I want to give gifts, but I normally don’t get on it before crunch time.  Not Good.  All manner of insights could be written about gift giving.  I could talk about how God gave His greatest gift, His Son.  I could write about the Magi who brought gifts to the infant Jesus.  But, I’ll leave that for another time and another place.  Instead, I want to share a personal moment with you.  I am curious as to whether it might spark something for you.  
November 30, 2018.  I was writing in a journal (I struggle with a consistent use of prayer journals, and have again re-upped my commitment to pursue this spiritual discipline).  I was sitting at our kitchen table and wrote: “Lord, you know how I struggle with Christmas gifts.  You know how I am often clueless about what would be a good gift.” I paused, and instead of trying to solve this matter as I would in the past (start making mental notes about gifts, etc.)  I listened for God’s insight.  Then I sensed the Lord’s prompting and I wrote as if God were speaking to me: “Pray to me – ask me:  Lord, what do you want this person to receive from me?”   In this simple way the Lord was leading me to change from what I would give to what He would want to give through me.   This simple, but profound shift is a reinforcement of what you and I know to be true about God. His ways are better than ours. 
I don’t know if gift selection is an issue for you.  But I imagine there are many places in your life where you are trying to solve a problem without asking God to lead the way.   I think you understand that I’m not talking about problems for which God has already given you skills and wisdom.   Those aren’t problems, they are challenging tasks. God has equipped you with mental, physical and relational resources to work through those tasks.  The problems to which I am referring are those places where you and I feel stuck.  What if at that place of being stuck you and I brought the matter to God and listened for how he would lead? 
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” Psalm 37:7.