Growing up our home had two paintings of Jesus hanging in the house. One of Him knocking at a door and another of His face.
No matter how many times we moved around, these painting served as a constant reminder throughout my childhood and teenage years of His presence in my life, offering comfort and peace during uncertain times.
And as a little child these paintings helped to make Jesus real to me, nurturing my developing faith by putting a face and human form to a real Savior.
Often when feeling afraid or alone, the portraits caught my eye and reminded me that there was Someone who never leaves or forsakes me and to whom I can turn to for help in any situation.
[lead]Gifts of Presence[/lead]
A close friend recently mentioned that she has placed various gifts we’ve given them over the years throughout their home, saying that when seeing them, they offer comforting reminders to her of God’s faithfulness along with our enduring friendship. Her statement reminded me of the prayer involved in asking God’s leading in choosing gifts to give them. Until she brought up their impact in her life, I hadn’t realized how my prayers were being answered.
With this disclosure has come a deepened appreciation for the value of giving presents and the many ways God can work through various resources to influence friends and family members towards Him. Also, a discovery that there is a way to speak daily into their lives about God’s love for them without saying a word.
In a culture of giving gift cards, my friend’s words have encouraged me to hold on to the art of prayerful gift giving. As well, a renewed hope in what God is able to accomplish when I’m willing to seek His leading in something as simple as choosing a present. Hearing how God is actively ministering through past gift giving efforts inspires me to embrace even more the ongoing opportunities to bestow godly, positive influences in friends’ and family’s lives.
[lead]Treasures in Heaven[/lead]
Since my parents passed away a few years ago, these favorite childhood paintings of Jesus have become part of my inheritance from them. And like our friend, I’ve realized that seeing the portraits not only bring sweet memories of my Mom and Dad’s godly impact in my life but also of their efforts and faithfulness to introduce me to Jesus.
They also serve as a reassuring reminder of how my parents are now daily living in His presence, once seeing in a mirror dimly … but now seeing Him face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12).
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Ashleigh Slater, Founder & Managing Editor
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