It’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness of the day. To hit the “snooze” button on the alarm clock once or twice to make up for going to bed late. To spend too much time deciding on the perfect outfit for the day ahead. And before I know it, I’ve squandered away my quiet time, the time before the stresses and decisions and chaos of the day truly unfolds. Does that ever happen to you, or is it just me?
I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Leviticus recently. In the first several chapters, God gave Moses very specific instructions about the condition and format of the offerings that He would consider to be presentable.
The animals that were to be presented as an offering to the Lord, whether they were from the herd, from the flock, or birds of the air, were to have no defects. When grain was given as an offering, whether in pure form or baked or prepared in a pan, it was to consist of choice flour and not adulterated by yeast.
What struck me reading the passages this time that I had never noticed before was that God didn’t command that everyone give the identical offering. Their offering was based on what they had. And if the instructions were followed, then in each situation, God determined the offering was “a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the Lord.”
Every day I give of myself to others. I give my time and my efforts to my family. I give my time and my expertise and wisdom to my patients. I give my talents, understanding, and compassion to my friends. And I do it all willfully and joyfully, without hardly even thinking about it. I give them the best I have to offer for their needs, which may be entirely different than what someone else would or could offer. My gifts are based on the gifts and talents God has provided me.
Yet, what God desires is “a special gift.” A thoughtful, intentional gift of our time, our devotion, our passion, our interest, and our relationship to Him. He doesn’t desire it because of religious rules, but out of a desire for relationship.
The thing about the offerings was that even though God told them what to do to make an offering, when they followed through, He considered it “a special gift” because He knew that it was given willfully and intentionally on their part. They could have chosen not to do as He commanded, yet when they did, He received it as “a special gift.”
Every morning and evening God walked with Adam in the cool of the day. They intentionally spent time together. That’s what He desires of me, and you: That we would give him part of ourselves, part of our day—the best part, without defect, as a gift to Him.
Have you ever gone home, walked in the door of your parents’ home, and smelled your favorite dish cooking in the oven or on the stove? Doesn’t it just thrill your heart to know that someone loved you enough to give you the gift of your favorite meal? It probably isn’t their favorite, so it’s a sacrifice intended to express love to you.
When we give God our offering, we receive the satisfaction of knowing it is considered by God to be “a pleasing aroma.” How great to know that our offering to God pleases Him, delights Him, like a pleasing aroma on the stove.
What will your “special gift” to God be today? May you enjoy the pleasing aroma together.
Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
You can also find out more about the book, “Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression” below.
A short brief about Hope Prevails.
Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.
Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression
-By 2020, depression will be our greatest epidemic worldwide
- An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression
- As with the bestselling My Stroke of Insight, the author experienced the same condition she treats
- Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain.
For those who struggle with depression and those that want to help them, Hope Prevails offers real hope for the future.
Hope Prevails is available now wherever books are sold. To find out more, see: http://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/.
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)