I felt a bit uneasy. I looked through every drawer, underneath the cabinets, behind the stove but I couldn’t find it. How had I lost my favorite paring knife? But it wasn’t anywhere. Had it gotten thrown out with a bunch of peelings by accident? This wasn’t just any normal kitchen tool. This had been a wedding gift. And not just any wedding gift. It had come from a precious woman who has long since gone to heaven. It would not be overstating the case to say that I think of her every time I use that knife. I still remember how the packaging said it was specially handcrafted knife to never need sharpening. And it never did. As I have chopped thousands of onions and peeled even more potatoes I have recalled her sweet history with my family. It was a gift full of meaning and connection.
Gifts are like that. Especially gifts given from the heart. I almost missed that as I read through Numbers chapter 7. In fact, I think I yawned a couple times. I mean how important can 89 verses be that speak about gifts from 12 unheard-of chiefs, that included unfamiliar weights and a bunch of farm animals? Well, it must have been very important to God. In Numbers 7 we can read one of God’s carefully kept gift records. It may not be like mine which I stored away after my wedding 27 years ago, but it was kind of the same. Each name and what they gave was faithfully recorded in great detail. I have an inkling this tells us something really significant about God. He loves our gifts. He loves when our gifts are given towards His work. These gifts were meant for the running of the Tabernacle. It had already been built, now these gifts were about making sure the needs of the priests and Levites were met and the work could go on.
As I let that thought settle in I start to perk up. I am the receiver of those kinds of gifts. Sitting in the middle of the Amazon jungle, doing God’s work, is only made possible by the gifts of His people. I know that somewhere in heaven there must be God’s Gift Record. A place where He notes each and every offering given for His work. And many of you who are reading this are in that lovely ledger! Thank you for your gifts that allow us to be going about His work here in Brazil.
P.S. I never did find that beloved paring knife but I am still on the look out for it. It still may be in some crevice or dark place, waiting for me to find it.