The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

September 28, 2013

A gift may come in a way you don't expect

Keeping The Faith column

By Bev Davis

— Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published Aug. 6, 2009.

I had heard this story before, but this week it took on a special meaning for me. I’ve been praying about some specific things and have seen absolutely no signs of answers.

I know God honors faith, and all prayers are weighed in His infinite knowledge of what is best for us, but I’m impatient. It seems I’ve been waiting a really l-o-n-g time for these requests.

As the story goes, a young man was about to graduate from college. His father was a man of faith, but the boy never embraced a belief in God.

He wanted a sports car for a graduation gift and had dropped ample hints.

Following the ceremony, his father presented him with a gift. Unwrapping the box, the boy suspected he wasn’t getting the sports car.

Disappointed to find a new Bible with his name on it, the ungrateful grad offered a perfunctory thank-you and gave his dad a halfhearted hug.

When he left to take a job in another state, the boy left the unopened Bible behind.

Years later, he got the word his father had died, and the boy was named executor of the estate.

As he sorted through all the papers in his father’s desk, the boy came across the Bible, still unopened tucked away in the box.

When the boy took it out, his fingers touched something metal taped to the back. It was a car key. Inside the back flap of the Bible was a dealer tag stapled to a bill of sale for the exact sports car the boy had wanted years ago. Stamped across the top were the words, “Paid in Full.”

Taking the story to heart, I’m trying to look closely at everything my Father is sending my way. I’m trying to appreciate and take full advantage of gifts for which I haven’t asked. Some of those are wrapped in adversity. Those are the hardest to appreciate, but often the ones in which I find the greatest life lessons.

I’m trying to clarify my motives for the things for which I’m asking and praying for a pure heart and a will to honor God through my requests.

I don’t know how He will choose to answer these prayers, but I truly believe He takes my best interests to heart.

I’ve been led to pray this week for others who are wrestling with seemingly unanswered prayers. I trust we will all put aside selfishness and reach for things that can be used to further the Kingdom of God.

Sometimes God puts the answer to our prayers right into our hands. If we don’t take time to fully examine and appreciate a gift, we may miss out on the treasure it holds.

So, if you’ve been waiting a l-o-n-g time for something, keep the faith. The gifts God has for us may not come in the kinds of packages we expect. Let’s make sure none of us fail to enjoy a blessing He’s put right into our hands at the moment.

I don’t want to wake up 20 years from now and find out I missed out on enjoying something I could have had with me all the time.