Sometimes God gives us extraordinary gifts. I mean, He’s already offered eternal salvation and reconciliation with Him, but even beyond that, he blesses us in unexpected and undeserved ways.
Much as I find it hard to grasp, I really do believe that God delights in our enjoyment of life. He rejoices when we receive a gift from him with eagerness and praise and thanks. He smiles on our joyfulness. Our temporary happiness, however, is not His end goal. It pleases Him, sure, but he never intended for His gifts to be either our source of joy, or our consuming focus.
As I was thanking God for one of His gifts in my life, I sensed both his smile over my happiness, but also His gentle adjure: Eyes on the prize, baby, eyes on the prize.
God wants us to enjoy the gifts we receive in this life, but never at the expense of our focus on the ultimate prize. Nothing He can give me now, can compare to the gift of Himself. One day I will step through the gates of death, and be united with Him, my ultimate prize. Any gift I receive here, is only as valuable as the extent to which it points my eyes towards the greater prize.