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A Cheerful Giver
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“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:6,7).

When our oldest child was a toddler, we lived in a small house on a very crowded street. Since I had grown up on a farm, I was very anxious to get out of town and find a place in the country to raise our family. Mark agreed and we made plans to sell our house and move to the country. 

In the meantime, however, I did whatever I could to stay connected with the "earth." I planted a vegetable garden, which took most of our yard area, and I also planted a row of rose bushes along the south side of our house. I bought a rose book and did everything it recommended to help the rose bushes flourish. And it worked! Soon, they were almost as tall as I was with large, deep green leaves. And they were covered with buds! Every day, I would look at the buds, anticipating the potential of beauty tucked tightly inside the outer petals. I would look at the picture of the full-bloomed rose that came with the bush and then I’d look at the buds. What fun it was going to be to watch them open to their full glory.

Picked Just for Me

Then one day, as little Katie and I were outside, she came to me with the most excited and happy look on her face. Smiling widely, she raised her chubby hand up to me with a gift she had carefully “picked” just for me. You guessed it. A freshly picked—rosebud.  Katie didn’t know that rosebuds eventually turn into something even more beautiful. She didn’t know that the "flower" she was giving me was immature. She only knew that it was something that I loved and watched over and talked to a lot.

I reached my hand out to hers and gladly accepted her gift. As I held the tight, short-stemmed rosebud in one hand and Katie in the other, I felt a deep warmth because even though I knew that the rosebud had greater glory ahead, she gave it to me while it was still full of life and hope. She didn’t wait for perfection. She seized the moment and basked in the glory of what the rose was right then. And she shared it with me! What an honor.

I have often reflected on that gift and how it relates to the scripture quoted above. God loves a cheerful giver. And I think God surely loves for us to give of ourselves, even in the “bud” stage. Even if we aren’t yet in full blossom or have the most fragrant aroma, we can still cheerfully give ourselves today, just the way we are. We can offer our tightly closed petals and say, “Here is the bud you have loved and watched over and talked to every day. Take me in my immaturity and open me to the full glory you intended from the moment of my creation. Take me with my thorns and bug bites and shallow roots and put me in the innocent hand of some childlike soul seeking the glory of your creative touch.

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By Gwen Scott Simmons. Copyright © 2006 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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