the word “gift” in German means poison, toxin, or venom.  I find this ironic, because often gifts in my own life, God-given means that should bring rejoicing, when viewed without God’s grace in mind, can turn into a venomous poision in my life. 

Example 1:  I love music.  But when I listen to music that turns my heart away from God, that gift becomes a poison that fuses itself deeply into many other areas of my life.  I often listen to music, with no regard for the words.  I need to work on this. 

Example 2:  I love sleep.  but if that gift becomes an indulgence (or a negligence as is often the case for me) then I find that it affects my entire day.  I know I need to sleep more than I often do, in order to avoid periods where I often crash from exhaustion. 

Example 3:  my laptop was given to me about a year ago.  It has been such a blessing on many levels – its been nice to be able to sit comfortably on the floor in my room, leaning up against my recliner just typing away or reading various blogs.  but when the virus killed the poor thing a few months ago, the removal of that gift revealed a grostesque amount of poison in my heart.  Instead of gratefulness, I found myself complaining.  Instead of joy, that gift revealed the poison of anger – how could that gift be taken away? 

I would like to be able to fix the laptop someday soon.  Until then, I’m learning to be content.  I’m learning (albeit imperfectly) to give thanks.  Left to rot in my own sin, every gift from God would poison my soul.  Each one would become an idol. 

By His grace, He takes them away as needed so that I will remember the gifts He has given me… so that I will rejoice in the joy of my salvation and learn to love more deeply the Giver of those gifts.


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