I LOVE beautifully wrapped packages! I have fallen in love with wire-edged ribbon the last few years because even a non-bow maker like me can make a half-way decent bow with it. And packages wrapped in that wide ribbon just look SO beautiful!!
Yet we all know that what is most important is NOT the wrapping, but the gift inside. Be it large or small, expensive or not, it truly IS the thought that counts as it is given. When given with a heart of love, it really doesn't matter if it is tube socks or diamonds, it is to be appreciated and cherished.
When contemplating the true GIFT of this season....the Gift of JESUS CHRIST....I was reminded of something that the Lord had taught me a few years ago through another devotional. I hope as you read it, you, too will be reminded of the value of this priceless GIFT!!
Sometimes God hits me so squarely between the eyes with something I had never thought of before, that I have to stand back and just go "WOW!!"
I was reading a devotional this morning in which the writer was thanking God for loving her, etc. You could almost picture her standing with Jesus much like we would run into a friend at Walmart and begin to thank her for the tablecloth she had loaned us. She thanked him for loving her, for caring for her and for sending His Son to die for her. As I pictured this scene in my mind, I thought of how often I had thanked God for sending Jesus to die for me. And I truly meant it, but I suddenly realized how glib and trite that puny thank you sounded in light of what He had done for us.
I guess what really brought it home to me was something that had just happened in my life 2 weeks ago. My daughter was away at school, very sick and getting worse and she was 4 hours away. I was desperate to find someone to help her. I knew that even if I left immediately, I could not get there in time to find a doctor and get an appointment before closing time. I was blessed to find her friend’s Dad, Dr. Butler, who not only got her an appointment with an ENT specialist, but took time away from his own practice to check on her and make numerous calls to this worried mother. He was so kind, so caring and so thoughtful, that I was touched beyond words. I tried SO hard to convey to him how grateful I was, but words were just so inadequate.
As I pondered this morning on how glibly we say "thank you" to God for Jesus, I was reminded of how VERY grateful I felt toward this doctor whom I had never met in my life, and how hard I tried to express that. "Have I ever tried THAT hard to express my feelings to God", I wondered to myself. And what HE did is so much MORE than what Dr. Butler did. He found her medical help, Jesus DIED for us!! The magnitude of that is just incomprehensible to our finite minds! There is NO way we can put into words the gratitude we have for that.
Then, as if God whispered it Himself, it came to me. "You say it with your life." My life…the life I have because of HIM…..that is how I say thank you. What I do with this unspeakable gift is my tribute…my thank you to Him!!
I thought of how painful it is when someone loses a loved one. But then they give the gift of life by donating that person’s heart to someone who would otherwise die without the transplant. Can you imagine giving your child’s heart to a man so he could live, and then he recover and go on to become a murderer?!! Can you imagine how devastated you would be? You would feel like your child’s heart had been wasted. Yet if this same heart were placed into a man who went on to become a great evangelist or a scientist who found a cure for cancer, how thrilled you would be to be know that your child’s death had given life to this one who had done so much for others!! That must be how God feels about us and how we live our lives.
Therefore, we need to realize each day that we have this unspeakable gift and seek to so walk before Him so that our lives will be a continual "thank you" to Him. That is why our walk is SO important!! Our mere words could NEVER express to Him what this gift means, but our obedience and commitment can. "Father, help me to never take this gift for granted. Help me to so walk before you that my life will reflect the gratitude I have in my heart for all you have done for me." "Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift!!"
February 21, 2002