Sunday, January 4, 2009

THE gift...

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! ~2 Corinthians 9:15

I don't think anything in life is random. There is nothing that happens by chance. I didn't always think that. I figured that if I got to a stoplight and it was green... well, it just happened to be green. If I bumped into a long lost friend at the grocery store... hey, what a neat coincidence. I certainly didn't see life as being intricately scripted by God. And yes, I was a believer at the time.

Then one summer in a very special Bible study, we studied the attributes of God. I walked away from that study with a sense that every moment of life is a moment of Divine intervention. Whether it is a check that arrives in the mail just in time to pay a bill that's due or a phone call that delays me five minutes, making me miss being in a major traffic pile-up, I know for certain that God is sovereign. (By the way... if you've never pondered God's sovereignty in your life, I urge you to do so. It will absolutely blow your mind.)

So... today when we were taking down our Christmas decorations, we took a little break to sit down as a family and watch a little bit of a totally crazy old movie. Our Christmas tree stays up through Epiphany, so there it stood in the corner of the family room, untouched by the undecorating frenzy that was going on throughout the rest of the house. My daughter commented, "Oh no... I think we forgot a Christmas present." Sure enough, there was a present in a small box, wrapped in blue paper, still lying under the tree. I stared at it and then I remembered that it was one of the gifts our first grader had made in school. The tag said, "To Jesus." It was symbolic of our gift to Jesus for His birthday... our hearts. It struck me at that moment that Jesus wants us to give Him our hearts each day.

A little later in the day, someone had moved the present from under the tree and left it lying in the middle of the floor. I picked up the present to put it back under the tree and noticed writing on the wrapping paper. When I read the writing, I had another "epiphany." The wrapping paper said, "Jesus is the greatest gift." And, "Jesus is the gift that keeps on giving." Wow. I thought it was all about our giving our hearts to Jesus daily. Then I realized that it is all about Him giving Himself to us. How kind of our Lord to take me beyond myself and focus my heart on Him. It was no coincidence we didn't notice that present until today. It was a well-timed lesson from the heart of a loving Heavenly Father.

So tonight as I type this post about the days leading to Epiphany, the day of gift-giving, I treasure His gift to me that allows me to give my gift to Him. And another verse comes to mind...
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~Romans 5:8