"But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit" (Jeremiah 17:7-8, NIV).
Eugene and I have been told more than once by friends who have become very dear to our hearts that we are gifts from God to their family. It is a flattering compliment, but their accolade is simply a reflection of God's abounding grace. Anything we have to offer comes not from within our own goodness but from the life God has given us.
The scripture I have shared above speaks to the experiences of Eugene and me. We have felt the heat and suffered the drought but have survived—not of our own strength but through our trust in God and His plan. We have had worrisome and even fearful moments, yet we have remained full of enough life to give some away. That is the gift of God. We are not the gift; His life in us is the gift.
When I contemplate what God has done in us and through us I am overcome by tears of joy. Who are we to be called life gifters? We are nothing, but He is everything! We have life to give because we are blessed with green and fruitful leaves. And our leaves remain green and fruitful because our trust and confidence is in the Lord.