Yesterday was my birthday and my roommate got me flowers. Pink roses – my favorite color. Beautiful. They’re decorating the top of the piano as I type.
Before I had the chance to put them in the vase, his aide saw them and said “Oh you have flowers. You can give them to me. I will use them to pray.” He is a devout Hindu and so flowers feature heavily in his spiritual life.
Now, I have no qualms about giving my things away if I can spare them. Especially things like flowers. But this time around, all I could think of was how God created these perfect blossoms, for no real reason other than to bless the world with their beauty, and here was someone trying to use God’s gift to worship false gods and idols. I had a visceral reaction to the idea. What a slap in the face to Jesus!
Then it hit me how many times I’ve done exactly that. Taken a blessing, taken a gift, directly from God because of His love and mercy towards me, and misused it. Utilized it in a way that helped me at the time but that hurt Him. Failed to obey and use His gifts for their intended purpose.
I’ve done that. Of course I’ve done that. We’ve all probably done that. But it took birthday flowers to get me to truly realize God’s sorrow when His blessings go so unnoticed, misused, and taken for granted. And so today I have a heart of repentance and humility, but also for praise. Because even though we misuse, abuse, and fail to fully appreciate His gifts, He gives them anyway. He loves us anyway. Through His own hurt and sorrow, He loves us anyway. He keeps giving. He keeps blessing. He stays faithful to us.
What a merciful God we serve!