01 Aug When the gift points to the Giver.
Have you ever been given a gift so big, so extravagant that you could only cry in response? Could only stare in shock, no words to break the moment? Could only think, Surely, this is not from man but from the Lord! We just did.
We haven’t been able to save for my dream piano ever since the basement flood. But James’ mom brought us the wonderful gift of their little keyboard, and even without all 88 keys, we’ve gotten to play and sing for almost five months! My, how I’d missed it! Shortly after, a friend offered us to house their upright since they lacked the storage space. We were almost ready to arrange the drop-off, when another friend found this dreeeeeeam piano, used (aka at a GREAT price). We entertained the thought for half a second but just knew that this was not The Year of the Piano.
Fact: all our extra funds are still going toward refinishing the basement.
Fact: we are more than blessed with the loaned keyboard.
Fact: we have a free option available to us and coming soon.
Fact: we can be content with little.
Fact: it’s good practice for our hearts to delay gratification.
So I told her thanks for thinking of us, but we just can’t do it this year.
I kept my eye on the listing anyway, in secret hopes of the seller getting no hits and knocking the price in half or something equally ridiculous.
And then just like that, it sold.
I felt sad for a fleeting moment. But thinking “there’ll never be another deal like this ever in the future of deals” is a foolhardy ploy for car and appliance salesmen. We’re Dave Ramsey people. We don’t buy into that. There’s always another deal. Plus, being nowhere near ready to make a big purchase made it easier to say no and believe that this desire for a piano is a God-glorifying one and that He’ll make it happen when the time is right.
Little did we know the time would be right so soon.
The next weekend I was trying to arrange for the upright to be delivered. James seemed particularly against it, so I chose not to push it ’til the kids and I returned from Michigan.
As we stepped out of the van, James came running up.
“Don’t unload; don’t get the kids. I cleaned the house; you have to see!”
(Believe me, a clean house is a rarity this pregnancy.)
I walked in the house. And gasped and stared (for a full 30 seconds!) and then ran back outside.
“WHAT. IS. THAT?!” I screamed.
I was actually a little mad. WE AGREED; WE DON’T HAVE MONEY FOR THIS.
He read my mind and mustered an, “It wasn’t me; it wasn’t me.”
Turns out that friend who noticed the piano felt prompted by the Lord, the great Giver Himself, to check out their own giving fund. When they realized they had the exact amount for the piano, they knew. What they didn’t know was what a bad headache I’d have for the next two days…and every time I’d be overwhelmed by their generosity for the next several months!
It’s really amazing, because this gift is something I’ve literally dreamed of, longed for. Playing and singing soothes my soul and is a true act of worship. Those things aside, what this gift has done for me is open my hands. Those clothes that I want fifty cents for? Pass ’em on to a friend’s child who’s the right size! Those decorations no longer our style? Donate! A old bike with plenty of life left? Find a neighbor in need! We know, know, that God Himself gave us this gift, that He used some of our dearest friends to pass it to us. I have tears even as I type this. The extravagance of His excellent love! I want to be that vessel too. To be so open that God can breathe into me and it refreshes someone else. I could write for hours about my thankfulness. (I surely have talked for hours about it!)
Which is why I decided to place our God Rocks on the piano. Our testament to the Lord’s kind work in our lives. He’s moving. We want to see it. We want to feel it. We want to be a part of it. We want to glorify Him for it. And every time I play, a song of thankfulness abounds. Even in the Kermit-y chords of The Rainbow Connection, I am thanking God.
So hear me loud. This gift was from GOD. HE orchestrated hearts and funds and selling needs and matched them perfectly with my own heart’s desire, not because I deserved it or earned it or demanded it, but because He is a good Father.
“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:11
“All generous giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or the slightest hint of change.” James 1:17
We’ve experienced setbacks, to be sure. But without those setbacks, we’d be able to purchase everything ourselves. We’d have a lessened need to rely on the Lord…or our fellow believers. I can’t wait for our time to wow someone with the Lord’s extravagant love. But we won’t wait either. Because His love can be felt in a meal or a hug or a word of encouragement. We’ll give what we can when we can and will pray for the opportunity to give more.
Can I say amen? It feels right to close that way.