Psalms 68:18 NRSV

You ascended the high mount, leading captives in your train and receiving gifts from people, even from those who rebel against the LORD God's abiding there. (Psalms 68:18 NRSV)

Once there was a child prodigy named Ana Maria Trenchi De Bottazzi. Ana began studying the piano at the tender age of two. She gave her first piano recital in her native Buenos Aires at the age of four. She toured many countries. At twenty-three she was a full professor for graduate piano students at the Kunatachi University in Tokyo.

Then tragedy struck. The gifted world-renowned concert pianist was nearly killed in an automobile accident. The doctors told her she would never play the piano again.

During her years of recovery her mother told her over and over again, "What we are is God's gift to us. What we become is our gift to God."

After a long sixteen years she finally walked onto the stage at Carnegie Hall. "I was terrified," she says recalling that moment of triumph. "I sat down and I prayed. I asked God to help me." Ana Maria played the piano for two hours. "I was totally immersed in music," she says. When she finished her last piece of music she turned to face the audience. Two thousand people were clapping, giving her a standing ovation. "For a second, I wasn't sure that it was really happening," she recalls. "When I realized it was real, I broke down and cried on the stage. As I took my bow I said to myself, 'God, this is my gift to you.'"

What gift are you giving to God?

God of peace, accept my gift to you. In Jesus name, Amen.

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