"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting
shadows" James 1:17
In 1989 my husband Marcelo was offered an electronics engineering position and we moved from Colorado Springs to Arizona.
Our first winter here we chuckled when we saw people dressed in winter coats, gloves, scarves, mittens, and warm hats.
Coming from colorful, and cold, Colorado, we really thought the winter was quite mild.
The following summer we Arizonians faced record breaking heat temperatures with the highest being 122°F on June 26, 1990, causing us to rethink and question the wisdom of our move, but we adjusted and have called Arizona our home for the past thirty-four years.
When our second winter rolled around my husband and I were compelled to dig out our Colorado cold weather survival attire and joined the locals that amused us the winter before. We had become acclimated to the summer heat and lost our tolerance to the mildness of Arizona winters.
However, the Arizona winter memory I think Marcelo and I will most remember happened in 2023, when just three days before Christmas we had the opportunity to open up some early Christmas gifts.
The first gift we received turned out to be a broken heating system! This gift came wrapped up in gratitude, for we were reminded of how we should not take things for granted.
The heating repair company came promptly, diagnosed the problem, and informed us that the part needed would have to be ordered, and due to the holidays we should expect some delays. Gift number two was having to wait in discomfort and came wrapped up in patience, adorned with a lovely bow of long-suffering.
It took a week for our heater to be repaired, which means we slept in our Colorado winter survival attire. Our third gift, bitter cold and inconvenience, was beautifully wrapped in God's goodness and love.
The cost for the heating system should have been over $2,000, but our home was only three years old and the replacement part was under a five year warranty. Therefore, we were only charged for the labor! The fourth gift of God's mercy and grace came wrapped joyfully in thanksgiving and praise.
Finally, when the workers had completed the job, the fifth gift Marcelo and I received was the opportunity to share the Gospel with them: the amazing, precious, sacrificial gift of eternal life covered in God's omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience and wrapped up in His agape love.
It is not always easy to receive with trust and thanksgiving God's good and perfect gifts from above; for we do not understand His thoughts and ways. However, we can trust His heart, for we know He is holy, just, perfect, loving and good! Therefore, whatever He allows to come into our lives, though unbeknownst to us, He has an eternal purpose for it. Oh, for grace to trust Him more!
Father God, You are a good God and You love us so much. Help us to remember You are always working things out for good according to Your perfect will. Amen.
Copyright 2024 Cheryl Mariano (Cheremiah)
(Posted Jan. 1, 2024)
~from the editor: Is this not how God forms the Fruit of his Spirit in our lives? Oh that we would have eyes to see how God uses our troubles to conform us into Christ's likeness, and trust that he is working out his best plan for our lives! Thank you, Cheryl, for this wonderful reminder as we head into the new year!
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