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  Accepting The “Gift”

Kathy Mullins Dingus


How many of you run across someone in your daily lives that are so needy you just want to help them with every fiber of your being? Someone who is so needy that you literally would like to “open the top of their head” and pour into them what they need. I know we all meet people who have need of food, clothing, a place to live, or a job that would help with the family income. We meet people that have such terrible problems with finances, health issues (myself included), marriage problems, problems within their family unit that keep them literally torn apart with strife. Well I have met such people almost on a daily basis.

At our annual observance of The Lord’s Supper, I felt like I was the most blessed person to be there. I looked around at all of my church brothers and sisters and was so happy to see us gathered together; celebrating the gift of love that Jesus had so freely given to us. Better yet, I looked in the row behind me, and there sat my sister who was visiting, my niece, my two sons, my lovely daughter and my mother, all there to partake of the gift along with me and our church family. I felt like Jesus had rained down more than I could possibly hold within my physical body. My heart was filled to overflowing with thankfulness that He had drawn them to Him and I was feeling such a blessing from His love. Yet, I still felt like there were a few places in the pews that I would have liked to seen filled, a few faces that I needed to see there that were absent. Selfishly, I wanted to see my husband there and a brother as well.

My husband is a wonderful man and we have been married for 19 years. He has stood by me for all of those years, all of my “stupid mistakes” and I have made quite a few big ones. He stood unflappable through them all, never wavering in his love for me.
He attends a church regularly, even takes communion, allows my children the freedom to attend the church of their choice, actually encouraging them in their religious freedoms. My daughter and younger son and my wonderful mother attend with me along with my sister and brother-in-law and niece. They have all accepted Jesus’ Gift.

My older son attends another fellowship where they have a energy-filled youth program and most of his school friends attend there as well. My husband visits yet another denominational fellowship, where he is the church sponsored Boy Scout Master, gets up every Sunday morning to head off to Sunday school and then church. We attend in the afternoons. So you might say that our church life is hectic but faithful.

This same 19 year-old son has expressed an interest in becoming a Youth Pastor, and is involved in a Contemporary Christian Praise and Worship Band, where he has been blessed by already helping lead several of his friends to Christ.

He and my daughter attend proudly attend “Prayer at the Pole” at the school flag pole and pray for the nation, their friends and teachers in a time where being a Christian Teenager is still very unpopular. They have also taken the “True Love Waits” vow at their local churches and proudly wear a band on their left hand, not to be removed until they are married. I support them in their spiritual life much the same as my mother and father did all of us when growing up in the Worldwide Church of God in what I now refer to as the “tough” years.

My husband lived in a household that was also Christian, but seeming by a “have to go” basis, at least on his part. His father never attended church except for very seldom times, such as funerals or weddings. As long as my husband lived at home, until the age of 21, he HAD to attend church on Sunday and Sunday School.

Yet, something is missing. He has yet to commit to accepting Jesus as His Lord and Savior.

I shamefully admit that I did really not worry about this very much in our early years of marriage, thinking that Jesus would draw my husband to him, just as I prayed SO daily. Jesus would take care of Him. Jesus will take care of him, and I know it without a doubt, because He is ever faithful.

Somehow, now that I am older and my husband is older, I wonder to myself, is there more I can do? My brother was brought up the same as I, and I know he believes in Jesus, and he prays to Him in his times of trouble although I don’t now for certain that he has accepted the GIFT. I haven’t ever come right out and just asked him about it.

I did ask my husband however, and I don’t really know what to do with what he told me. He told me that he did not know that there really was a Jesus. I have never heard him pray (although he may do so when I am not around), and at family functions I or my mother, who lives with us, are the ones to usually ask the blessing on the food. If my brother-in-law is present he does so.

My husband knows that I am very involved in my church along with my mother and daughter. He is aware I am the worship leader and the women’s ministry coordinator at our fellowship, and that I love Jesus dearly. My mother is an ordained Deaconess and is also lovingly involved with our church and our brothers and sisters. But the words still ring in my ears…he could not say for sure there was a Jesus.

I was floored when he told me this. After attending church and encouraging my children to attend and myself as well, I couldn’t understand why he didn’t get “it”. Was or is there something I have not done in our married life to help him come to Jesus as I should have? After all, I would like to think that Jesus used me and my mother to help my children come to know Him, why not my husband?

I am still praying, for the Bible says for us to pray without ceasing…and my prayer journal is filled to the brim. I have thought at times, am I too strong in my relationship with Jesus that I have left my husband out? Now, rationally and spiritually I know that there is no way to have a “too strong” relationship with Jesus. Many things have crossed my mind, in meditation and prayer. Still no answers and no commitment from my husband. Maybe it’s because men have this innate sense to “fix” things. I am realistic enough to know that my husband can’t fix everything in my life, although he may want to. Could he be jealous of my faith and inner strength that I gain from my relationship with Jesus?

There are times when I long to have him to pray with, and to talk our daily problems over with Jesus, together. Does this sound like a pity party? I hope not. Far from it. I am just searching myself and asking Jesus for a little help. I know that the time just might not be right. All things will happen within Jesus’ time, and He is always right on time!

In the meantime, there are many more of you who also have loved ones who have not accepted the GIFT.

It may be a female or male, family member or a beloved neighbor. I want to encourage you to reach out to them in prayer and in kindness…do all you know to do, all that Jesus leads you to do, and never, ever give up. The outcome will be such a blessing to you and just think about the blessing and peace and joy you have gotten from the GIFT of Jesus. You with Jesus’ help, can help lead someone else to that same blessed peace. There’s nothing in the world I would trade for it and once they have accepted the Gift, they won’t either.

Jesus “fixed” everything for us. He desired so badly for us to receive his GIFT, that he died to enable us to have it….freely and without charge. Instead of us literally “opening up” others and desperately trying to give them what we want them to have…He literally opened Himself and poured out Himself to give us the GIFT. There is a lesson in that that I need to meditate more upon. All we had to do to accept this wonderful offering of His love is to say YES!

Can we help someone say yes? Can we help them see the GIFT and accept it without literally pouring it into their heart and soul and mind? I sure hope we can. It’s what Jesus wants us to do.

Accept the task and commandment to help others accept the GIFT. Maybe the next time you partake of The Lord’s Supper, you will glance beside you or behind you and see a familiar face that wasn’t there before. Believe me; you’ll be blessed because they said YES!

Isn’t it the most wonderful miracle that the GIFT just keeps on giving and giving in the most remarkable, wonderful and loving way?

Lead someone to the GIFT that just keeps on giving!