Gratitude for the Giver, not the Gift

After my mom died and as my father got older, he delighted in giving gifts to people. Little kindnesses.  Small tokens.

We showed our gratitude at the giving and receiving. We delighted in Dad’s generosity. In the fact that he had thought of us.  In the fact that he loved giving.

At first, we delighted in every gift, even if it was something silly or something we didn’t need. But, after a while, these small tokens grew into large collections of things—ceramic frog collections, stuffed animal collections, too many baby dolls to care for.  Things we didn’t need, nor really appreciate, because each one meant finding space for this new token in our small home.

We told Dad it wasn’t necessary, all these gifts. But, he loved the giving.  And so, he gave.  He gave not what we needed or wanted; rather, he gave from his heart because he wanted to give. And, we accepted the gifts because giving brought him joy.

Because we loved the giver.

On the other hand, I think how often I didn’t genuinely delight in all the receiving. How I tucked a gift in a drawer or gave it away.  How I thought I wish he would have gotten the kids something they really needed instead.

But, I continued to love Dad because he was “Dad.” A man with a big, loving, giving heart.  I loved him and appreciated him first, before all the giving of the gifts.

That is how I should love God. I should delight in the Giver, not in the worth or value of the gifts received.  I remember a quote I read once: that gratitude should be grounded in the beauty of God, before the gift.

Gratitude grounded in the beauty of God, before the gift. That is the gratitude I should have for God.  Not just gratitude for the gifts or because of the gifts.  But, gratitude simply because He is.

I join the Gratitude Community, over at A Holy Experience, and delight in the beauty of God, not just His gifts.

May 3, 2010

26. For a loving God

27. For Christ

28. That the sky displays Your craftsmanship

29. For Your ever presence

30. For just being God

31. For the peace that comes from knowing, from faith in the Father

32. For all the gifts, because they are from You, the Giver of all

33. For forgiveness and second chances

34. For unconditional love

35. For all the gifts I failed to recognize or simply tucked away

36. For Your unfathomable beauty

37. For a world painted with color, when You could have painted it in black and white

38. For the ancient, sacred words You have given


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Posted on May 3, 2010, in Christianity, Faith, God, Grace, Hope, Joy, love and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Thanks for the reminder to love the giver… what a blessing 🙂

    • Thank you for stopping by my blog! I visited yours, too, but couldn’t leave a comment for some reason. You have beautiful blessings written there. Prayers to you as you wait for your visas — that you will find peace, joy, and a sense of expectation. — Godspeed, Elizabeth

      • Thanks for stopping by the blog…I just opened up the comments so it should work now.

        Our visas came today and we leave for Russia on the 11th!

  2. Elizabeth,

    What a wonderful devotion…A great reminder to love God for who He is and not what He has or He has not done for us….I love Him because He is my father…I love Him because He is my savior…I love Him because He first loved me…

    Blessings,
    Rani

    • “I love Him because He first loved me.” — Thanks for this thought. He first loved me. Such peace that brings!

      Thanks for stopping by my blog. Have a blessed day.– Godspeed, Elizabeth

  3. Was just remembering and sharing this great quality of Dad’s this weekend…….he really did have the simple gift of giving……..and of expecting nothing in return. I admired him so for that God given quality.
    Loved how you equated it to God…..”I love God for so many reasons, but mostly because I am His”! xoxo

  4. Nanc – You are right, he never expected anything in return. That was another thing that made appreciating him and what he did so great. Miss him so much!

    Love your point – “I love God for so many reasons, but mostly because I am His.” It brings such peace to know that! — Love you oxoxo

  5. Elizabeth, Great post! To love God for who He is, and not for what He gives is such a great thought. This is especially important when the gift might be a trying time that is meant to shape and mold us into His image, a gift we may not think we really even want. It is in these times that focus on the Giver is so important.

    Oh, and your dad sounds like he was a wonderful man! Peace, Linda

  6. Linda – Dad was a wonderful man.
    And, you are right, focusing on God for who He is–being at peace and grateful for Him alone–during the hard times is so important. Being thankful in the waiting for answered prayers. –Godspeed, Elizabeth

  7. Elizabeth,

    Amen. I join you…and give thanks to God….who after all the good things of life He has granted us, the greatest of all, was the gift of salvation and reconciliation with Himself, through the death of His Son and together with Him, we have all things!

    A refreshing perspective indeed!

    Love and hugs,

    Gladwell

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