God Personalizes Your Gifts

She may have thought the worst had already happened.

Her husband had died. In the male-dominated Jewish culture, women were economically dependent upon male relatives.

At least she still had her son.

Then the unthinkable occurred: her only son also died. Would this double loss be her end?

Who Was She?

Who was this woman from Nain, Israel? We don’t know her name; Luke didn’t record it (Luke 7:11-17). While he told more stories about women than the other three gospel writers, he only relayed names of ten women in stories where they had parts to play. Ten others with roles remain unnamed.

Did these unnamed women not matter as much?

Do you not matter as much when you’re not acknowledged by name?

No and no. They mattered. You matter.

Grace in Her Story

The widow in Luke 7 was on the road to her son’s funeral. Her final gift was to follow his dead body to its burial outside the city gates. Many were with her, helping her grieve and carry her son.

But unbeknownst to her, her crowd was about to intersect the path of another crowd, being led by Jesus.

She was about to discover resurrection. And it would be personal.

Jesus saw her. He talked to her. He told her not to cry. Even though she didn’t ask for His help (Jesus had yet to raise the dead—Jairus’s daughter and Lazarus were yet to come), He was about to give her a magnificent gift of grace anyway.

He touched the coffin. Everyone froze. Then talking directly to the dead son, Jesus said, “Wake up!”

And the dead man sat up and talked.

The crowd was awed. They’d personally witnessed a visit from God. They spread the news everywhere of their experience.

Grace in Your Story

Even today, Jesus still sees. Even when you don’t know what to ask for, He knows exactly what you need.

It might not be a physical resurrection. That’s not always the best gift anyway.

On the day my mother died of Alzheimer’s, I wouldn’t have wanted her to return to that body. God blessed me instead with other gifts of grace—personalized for my family—to help us heal.

He graces you with resurrection in still other ways. Maybe with a restoration of hope. A friend to share your pain. An open door to something new.

While His salvation gift may look the same for all, His other gifts of grace are unique, personalized just for you.

  • To fit your personality
  • To favor your circumstances
  • To fill your holes

God Is Personal

So maybe it’s on purpose that the widow wasn’t named. Maybe you’re supposed to fill your own name in the blank. And watch for how God will intersect your path, showing up with monogrammed gifts just for you.

There’s nothing impersonal about God. If you think there is, you have the wrong view of Him.

He is good, He is generous, and He is personal.

He knows everyone by name and by need. Including you.

That’s a gift of grace worth celebrating.

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Philippians 4:19-20

What gifts of grace have you received after a loss?

How has God blessed you in a unique way, perfect just for you? Please share in the comments.

revised from the Do Not Depart archives

10 thoughts on “God Personalizes Your Gifts

  1. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    If I could do it all again,
    would I walk this road,
    thorned about by bitter pain,
    freighted hard by cancer’s load?
    Or would I choose what came before,
    that life of vast ambition
    which I suspect was open door
    to my soul’s perdition?
    The question seems to answer
    itself, and thereby teach a lesson
    that facing death from cancer
    is more than just a blessing,
    for now I’ve seen beyond the veil,
    and know true meaning of life’s tale.

  2. Donna

    Lisa, I love the way you bring out that God is a “personal” God. He is not one size fits all, and engages with us on such a personal level according to our need. When going through a difficult trial, it’s so comforting to know He sees “me” and knows “me” not just someone like me. Thank you for this encouragement!

  3. Melody

    I just lost my husband Daniel, September 12, 2020. Our God is definitely a “personal God!” Thank you Lisa for allowing the Holy Spirit to speak
    through what you share online. God Bless You!

  4. Lois Flowers

    Aw, Lisa … I clicked on the link about your mom dying and now I’m crying too. The tears come at random times, as you well know, but I think they are part of God’s healing process. He knows exactly what we need, and sometimes what we need are tears. Brought on by reading someone else’s story. Thank you, my friend.

  5. Laurie

    Oh, Lisa…I loved this line: “Even today, Jesus still sees. Even when you don’t know what to ask for, He knows exactly what you need.” So true. I witnessed this firsthand just today.
    I would not have wanted a physical resurrection for my mom in the body she had when she died either. Blessings to you, dear friend!

  6. Maree Dee

    God is so personal and does give us many gifts. Thank you for your comforting words.

    After one loss, in particular, the gift arrived before the loss, but I didn’t know it at the time. It was the gift of time, one last amazing conversation. God slowed me down, and I sat.

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