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Silas and the Spider.
By: Donna Neville


Many of my outstanding memories center around my grandkids.  


One memorable moment happened at our Christmas Eve gathering about 12 years ago.  The “moment” happened as we were opening the presents. Paper was flying everywhere.  The kids (who were still small then) were yelling excitedly. It was happy pandemonium!!  


But “the moment” came when my 5-year-old grandson, Silas, opened up his present from his uncle and aunt. It was a giant plastic spider.  When he tore off the paper and saw the gift his reaction was that of awe. He looked at his Uncle Jason and said in a very high pitch, “How did you know I wanted this?!  It’s what I’ve always wanted!”…and on and on he went clearly unable to quiet his excitement!  


His response was spontaneous and genuine. He had received his  “dream” gift. 


We all stopped what we were doing and were captured by his joy.  The whole night had been fun, and everyone enjoyed their gifts, giving the normal “thank you” to the gift-givers. But Silas’ response to the “spider” revealed a delight that cannot be manufactured.  It came from the deepest part of his desire. 


I was instantly reminded of how God must feel when our praise and thanksgiving to Him erupts spontaneously from our inner-most being! - “WOW! LORD!  HOW DID YOU KNOW?!!! THIS IS UNBELIEVEABLE!  THANK YOU! THANK YOU!”  


I think we’ve all learned the art of courtesy.  We know the appropriate phrases and social graces, but you can’t fake that ‘Silas’ kind of thrill and gratitude.


“Lord, help me to feel that child-like thrill over the gracious gifts you bestow on my life daily.  Never let me become entitled, bored, and unmoved by the myriad of ways you bless me. Let me always thank you unreservedly!”

Donna Neville is the senior pastor of Praise Chapel in Huntington Park, CA. Donna and her late husband Michael Neville are the founders of Praise Chapel International Fellowship of Churches and Ministers. 

You can email Donna here.

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