At our house birthdays can often be celebrated over several days. My first birthday present this year came a few days before my birthday and was not what I would have expected.
My husband presented me a cup emblazoned on one side with a picture of Phil Robertson, the father from the popular cable television show, "Duck Dynasty." The other side bore the words, "Happy, Happy, Happy" which is a statement Phil is often heard to say on the show.
Now you may wonder about my response to such a present. The fact is, I was thrilled.
"Duck Dynasty" is perhaps the only television show I want to watch on a routine basis. I love the show, and I love the fact that this family is unabashed in their proclamation of their faith in Christ. The words, "Happy, Happy, Happy" seem to succinctly express my own attitude of being "determined to be pleased."
A gift with a picture of a bearded, older man seems an unusual present for a woman, but the gift-giver knew exactly what would make the recipient happy. Or "Happy, happy, happy."
Sometimes the Lord brings things into our lives that seem unusual, difficult, even painful. These don't seem like very good "gifts." But the Lord knows exactly what we need in our lives. He knows exactly what we need to urge us to trust Him more, to seek His face, to rely on His grace. He allows those things in our lives to conform us into the image of His Son. His gifts, while sometimes wrapped in confusing, even ugly wrapping, are always what we need even if we don't know that at the time.