Can God’s Children Trust God’s Gifts?

How is it that a man who hates shopping finds some unexplainable driving challenge in riffling through one bottomless brown bin after another? 

I watch the man I thought I knew so well, bent over a mountain of boxes. My husband flips and tosses them as if his life depends on it. The unadorned piles have almost no explanation nor promotion. No colorful appeal stands out in the ugly scattered bins. 

Perhaps you have heard of the bin store craze where returned, overstocked, and unsold clearance products are sold? One has come to our town.  

All around the room, people bend over piles, intent in the hunt. Inside one cardboard box among a hundred duds, there might be a legitimate steal. A gift. Something unasked for and unexpected. Something worth the time, effort, and patience. Something the searcher never knew he or she needed nor wanted. 

Oh, how I wish I could see the goodness of God in all of His gifts. But, sometimes the wrapping hides the treasure within. 

I’d like to box up my trials and throw them on a return pile, with a “I never asked for this,” sticker. I beg for Him to take it away, get rid of it, make it disappear. But often, trials are not so quickly disposed of.

There are times when, in His grace He allows us to be recipients of what we most ardently wish we could send packing to wherever it came from.  

Job, in the Old Testament, never asked nor seemingly merited what God allowed into his life. 

His loss of property, family and health prompted him to say, “For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, and what I dreaded has happened to me.” (Job 3:25 NKJV)

In Matthew 7:7-11, Jesus instructs a listening crowd to ask, seek and find. It is what follows that convinces me again of the Father’s gracious goodness in all of His answers. He proclaims something profound but difficult to fully believe at times. 

What man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7: 9-11 NKJV)

What man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your… Share on X

He declares that His children can always trust the Father’s gifts.    

There have been times when God has brought into my life something for which I hadn’t asked nor ever wanted. Though I searched, the goodness was hidden. Although it was wrapped with pain, He intended it for good. 

In the dark days of our daughter’s brain stem mass, when her cries pierced  the eerie hospital hallway, it seemed as though what we’d been given was the opposite of good.  She couldn’t move. She couldn’t talk. And hope dimmed.

You might have ended a rough 2023, or perhaps the New Year has already begun worse than the last. You might want desperately a redo, a take back, a re-wrap. You may long for the opportunity to send it all packing far away. 

I see now so many things that I couldn’t during my daughter’s health crisis. When once it all appeared black, bits of gold shine through. I see how my heavenly Father directed me again and again to passages in Scripture which affirmed Him and His character. I see the body of Christ carrying us when we were broken. 

I’m aware that much of what I’d labeled a “stone” or “serpent,” were instead rare jewels in disguise.  

He drew me to Himself in ways I had never before experienced. And, I recognize that God’s goodness cannot be disputed, whatever the outcome. His love in every circumstance remains undiluted, pure, and abundant. His gifts don’t always look as we desire, but His purposes always reflect His goodness. 

God offers something of great value even in our darkest trials. From His storehouse of riches, He offers treasures in unexpected and even in the never-asked-for ways. His gifts don’t always look as we desire, but His purposes always reflect His goodness. Share on X

God is all He claims to be even when the packaging clashes with what is hidden inside.  

Life holds its share of “I don’t get it’s.” At times we may search through its disappointing mess like an obsessed shopper trying to find something of value or purpose. We toss about the rubble of “this is not what I asked for,” and sometimes, we just need to be reminded again, if a son asks for bread, will His Father give him a stone? If he asks for a fish will His good Father give a serpent?


*Feature photo by Sylvia Schroeder

18 Replies

  1. Rosi Pahl Reply

    I’m caught by your words, “His gifts don’t always look as we desire, but His purposes always reflect His goodness” That’s like many of my prayers- the answer looks so differently from what I expected, I hardly recognize it is His answer! But His purposes always reflect His goodness. Always. Thank you Sylvia!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks Rosi. It’s so true. I’m sure someday we’ll wonder how we could have possibly missed so many marvelous answers! I’m pretty sure the vastness of His responses would blow our minds now. Great to hear from you!

  2. Don Pahl Reply

    Be sure to let Phil describe his treasure when he discovers it, Sylvia!! 😊

  3. Gladys King Reply

    Thanks for the timely truth, God is good and sovereign and one day we will see “face to face”

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Yes, Gladys. And it will be glorious! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond!

  4. Bonnie Burlingame Reply

    Thank you Sylvia! What a wonderful message and reminder. I also had to chuckle while reading about the bin store!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks so much Bonnie. I’m glad you liked it. And, I confess, those pins can sort of pull me in too…

  5. Gina Castell Reply

    I have to say that I really stink at adversity. I’m sitting here with a minor eye problem, thinking, “why me?”, when you had to go through so much with your daughter. I guess we’ll understand all of this on the other side of eternity. I’m glad that God is with us-although, sometimes I don’t understand …when he says “ask and you will receive,” and then we ask for healing and it doesn’t come. I know it has to do with his sovereignty and his will. But, no matter what happens, I know he is Good. And all these questions will be answered when we see him face-to-face. I don’t think I’m the type of person that can thank God for for the adversity. But I will thank him that he is with me in it. Thanks for sharing .

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Gina for taking the time to read it and respond! I don’t feel like I do well with adversity either, and I know there is no “adversity measuring tape.” When things stink, they stink whether they seem big or small. But as you said, God is Good. There is no evil in Him, and someday we will be with Him in eternity. It will either all make sense, or it really won’t matter when we see Him face to face!

  6. Ron Gallagher Reply

    What a compelling and encouraging post, Sylvia. I love the way you began with those “bin shopping” places–never heard of them, but can see myself joining the bargain hunters digging through them. At my stage of life, I’ve seen my share of those “why is this happening” moments, and the way you guided our hearts toward God’s proven track record of loving us in, through, and out of them was richly nourishing. Thanks for the bright spot on a cold, snowy, winter day.

  7. Sylvia Schroeder Reply

    Thanks Ron! It’s snowing in Virginia too! Yes, by now there is a history of seeing God’s proven track record. He does not fail. I am glad He is patient with me when I am slow to see what He has shown me time and again. He is a good Father who loves, and that is definitely a bright spot for today!

  8. Nancy E. Head Reply

    God never wastes anything. Our pain, our struggles, our challenges, all gifts from His hand. Wonderful message, Sylvia. God bless!

  9. Sylvia schroeder Reply

    Thank you so much Nancy! I am so grateful God does not waste our pain!

  10. Lisa Joyner Reply

    Sylvia, you truly touched my heart with this. So often, as you write, we question God‘s purpose with “why me?” Like your precious daughter, my precious daughter, Kari died a few months ago at 30 from auto immune related lung disease. She suffered with Asperger’s , Sjogren’s syndrome, scleroderma, and then heart failure (to name a few). She never married, and in her last days, asked me what it felt like to be in love. That broke my heart. But through all the suffering she endured, she always told me, “Mama, I’ve never asked God ‘why?’”

    I strive to be more like my sweetheart. Caring for her in those final months was the hardest, saddest, backbreakingly fatiguing. thing I could ever have imagined. This coupled with seeing my princess in pain, made me pray to God to please end her suffering. I never, ever thought I’d be able to see anything beautiful in what we went through together, But these days I can truly see God‘s beauty for those ashes. I know my baby is truly “home”, and I know I am wholly a better person because of what God blessed me with in her.

    Keep blessing people with your words! I am praying to God to show me His will, and allow me to touch others with the season He used to touch me. Blessings to you all!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Lisa, I cannot begin to describe how precious is your testimony, about your Kari, to my heart. Thank you for sharing your story. And I am grateful for the honor you’ve given us of a glimpse of our God who is worthy. I am truly sorry for your pain, but so very thankful for the certainty that your “baby is truly ‘home.'” Thank you for the encouragement. I am praying for you as I send this.

  11. Katherine Pasour Reply

    Your message reminded me of my husband’s joy in spending hours (HOURS) in Harbor Freight stores. He loved to look and find a bargain. But what touched me the most is your discussion of seeking the jewels in God’s gifts when we cannot see past the pain and sorrow. In some cases we may not find the “jewel” until we meet our Savior in glory and perhaps that is what the trials are about, preparing us for the ultimate gift.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      I love your observation of perhaps our trials are about preparing us for the ultimate gift. Thank you Katherine. Yes, my husband loves Harbor Freight too. Looking forward to being past the pain and sorrow, and finding the true treasure of being face to face with Jesus.