Your relatives are going to ask you, they always do, what you got for Christmas. Even though you try to remember every gift, you probably didn’t even mention your most wonderful gift. And some Christmases, you might have been too busy to even open it.
But this Christmas, more than ever you NEED to open your wonderful gift.
Let me explain…
with a story.
The gift was wrapped with shiny paper, tied with the biggest, brightest bow possible, then tucked under the tree.
Tucked under the tree…not for hiding, but for finding.
It was a wonderful gift.
…but wait that adjective is far too weak. Let me try it again.
The gift was Amazing!
At least that’s how Rachel, who used all her money, the money that she had worked so hard to earn, described it!
That night, when her tired mom shoved the gifts for her children under the tree, she saw the little box very differently.
She saw a box with old, wrinkled, Christmas wrap and lots and lots of tape. It was topped with the flattest, tackiest bow, which had lost it’s sticky side and had to be taped, with lots and lots of tape, in place. (Have you found a bow like that in your wrapping paper box? Or ever wondered “Why do those kids have to use so much tape?)
The mom groaned with anxiety.
She knew she would need to pretend to “like” the gift so it wouldn’t hurt her daughter’s feelings. She anticipated a broken toy from the bottom of the child’s toy box.
You know the toy.
It makes it’s way all the way to the bottom of the toy box, but instead of throwing it away your child simply…
- Reclaims it.
- Repurposes it.
- Re-gift it…to you.
- And you can never throw it away because they gave it to you! You love their kind, sweet heart behind the gift…but???
She would muster the strength to act surprised and excited by tomorrow morning, but right then, she didn’t have it in her.
- Too much stress.
- Too many problems.
- And too many disappointments.
She felt alone and forgotten.
As usual Rachel woke up way too early and way too loud that Christmas morning. Rubbing the sleep out of their eyes, the other kids joined her with squeals of excitement.
Because Mom insisted, the children sat in a designated chair and opened one gift at a time, while the other kids and mom, with a steaming cup of coffee, watched. They clapped excitedly for their sibling, then rushed to the chair to be next.
When each child had opened a gift, Rachel retrieved the MAGNIFICENT (SHABBY!! Beauty is definitely in the eyes of the beholder.) gift. “Here’s a gift for you, Mama. Please open it.”
“Awe. That’s so sweet,” the mama smiled, while fighting back stinging tears. “No, you all have another present. Let’s wait until you finish opening your presents.”
When her mom insisted, Rachel dug another present out from under the tree and handed it to her brother.
After everyone opened their second present, Rachel turned to her mom, “It’s your turn, Mama,” the little girl grinned with delight. “Sit in the chair!”
With feigned fanfare she sat down in the present opening chair, smoothed the wrinkles out of her housecoat like a princess gracing her throne, then deliberately unwrapped the gift.
The kids held their breath in anticipation.
The young mother gasped when she saw the beautiful necklace.
“Do you like it, Mama?” Rachel repeated her question again without giving her mom the opportunity to respond, “Do you like it?”
The kids, as if on cue, pushed around their mom trying to see into the box, all the while asking, “What is it? What is it?”
It’s a necklace.
“Do I like it? No. I love it,” she gushed exploding into tears.
The kids panicked and tried to comfort their mom, “It’s ok. Why you crying, Mama? Why you crying?”
“Cause it’s so beautiful,” she answered as she carefully picked up the beautiful necklace to show them.
“It was absolutely exquisite! Exactly my style. I love it. I absolutely love it. It’s the nicest necklace I have ever had.”
Then the reality of how much something like this would cost, even in a resale shop, hit the mom. “Where did you get this?”
“I save all my money and I bought it!” the daughter declared.
“I know you bought it, baby,” pulling the little girl close, ” but this is a really expensive necklace and I couldn’t ever buy something this valuable. Where did you buy it?”
“Ms. Janie. the little girl pointed to the neighbor.”
“Ms. Janie? Our neighbor Ms. Janie? I don’t understand.”
“I told her I wanted to buy you a really special gift and I explained to her that you give to all of us and I wanted to give YOU something special this year.”
“She smiled and told me that was really sweet. Ms. Janie is a nice lady.”
“So I asked her to take me to the store, so I could buy you something really, really nice.”
“She smiled again, like she thought I had a good idea.”
She asked me how much money I had.
“I didn’t know, so I dumped it out on the floor and we counted it. I had a lot of money, so it took a long time for me to count it. It was four dollars and forty-seven cents.”
“Ms. Janie said that she had a really special necklace that she didn’t wear anymore that she could sell me for four dollars and forty-seven cents. She went in her room and came back with this necklace.”
“I told her that I would need to think about it before I bought it. That’s a lot of money for a necklace, huh, Mama.”
“But then, I decided that it would look really pretty on you, so the next day I told her I would like to buy it.”
“She even gave me the nice box to keep it from getting tangled. She said to put it in a safe place where it wouldn’t get lost. So I did.”
“Do you really like it?”
“Oh yes, baby! I love it! It makes me feel so valuable.”
We all want to feel valuable.
And we…you are. We forget that we bare the very image of God. We forget or don’t even recognize, that ONE reality ALONE makes us incredibly valuable.
That’s why Jesus was born into this sinful world so long ago. He came because you ARE valuable to Him. He came to seek and save the lost. Whether we realize it or not we all need the Savior, but you know that. I just want to remind you that you’ll never quit needing the Savior.
With all the craziness, all the terrible things that are going on, the Prince of Peace still gives peace.
I want to encourage you just like Rachel encouraged her mom, “Open your wonderful gift.”
Jesus was wrapped in torn rags, but don’t let the wrapping fool you!
He still is Amazing! Spectacular! Incomparable!
And that only begins to describe Him.
I heard a quote this week that went something like this,
“We have become too familiar with the God, we don’t even know.”
So…open your wonderful gift.
Open your Bible.
Even if you know all the stories, please read it; not for information, but inspiration.
Look for His nature. Look for His face in every verse. That way you can leave the Scripture with a fresh revelation,
So you can reply in wonder with words something this “Ahh. That’s what God looks like.
Quiet your heart.
Open your eyes.
…behold the wonder of who He is with fresh eyes.
I know. I know the world and maybe even your world is swirling with craziness, but get your eyes on Jesus.
Reclaim precious promises.
Rehearse the promises instead of your fears.
Open your heart.
God is faithful!
He is good!
Open your worship.
Just because you have not experienced the victory yet, only means you haven’t experienced it YET!