• Michelle

The Gift

Just before Christmas, I was listening to the radio. Not that that is of any significance because I listen to the radio everyday; but on this particular day the DJ’s asked their audience what their worst gift ever was. I tried to think of all the gifts I had received and my immediate thought went to the chickens; but in all honesty, I wouldn’t say they were a bad gift. Weird, yes; but not bad.

Then I remembered Christmas 2008. James handed me a bright red box with silver snowflakes on them. At first, I was amazed at my husband’s new found ability to wrap gifts; then I realized it wasn’t wrapped. The box itself was the wrapping for the gift. It was such a pretty box, that I held on to it for a while without opening it. Watching the kids tear into their gifts and enjoying the sights and sounds of Christmas, and my box. I just wanted to look at the box with its swirling silver snowflakes. It was the best box any gift had ever been put in! James noticed I hadn’t opened my gift yet and prompted me to open it. I reluctantly lifted the lid of the pretty box, and there inside was the second most gorgeous box I had ever seen. The only way to retrieve the second box was to turn the first box upside down. The second box plopped into my lap and there, in all its red glory, sat a smaller version of the red box. More silver snowflakes to delight my eyes! I was giddy with excitement. I didn’t dare go on, I just wanted to enjoy my box. But the boys were watching me by now and giggling, waiting to see the prize inside. I removed the lid from the second box, and Oh.My.Word! I must’ve been dreaming, because inside was yet another red box with those beautiful silver snowflakes. Smaller then the second box, I turned it over and out slid the beautiful box. I placed the second box back into the first box and thought “surely, the gift itself must be quite special to be placed in such beautiful boxes!” I wasn’t even thinking about the boxes now, because I was ready for the gift. Tearing off the lid of the 3rd box, my eye’s peered inside and to my amazement and delight– a 4th box! Same as the other 3 only smaller; I slid this box out of the 3rd box, and quickly removed the lid. Inside was – no, not a box; a bag! A red velvet sack with green drawstrings, much like I imagine Santa Clause himself would use on a much smaller scale. In those 4.8 seconds before opening the bag, I ran through the possibilities of the treasure stored inside the little sack. A diamond ring perhaps? Maybe a pearl necklace? Definitely something valuable, because something this small must be expensive. I opened the little bag and turned it upside down, letting the contents fall into my eagerly waiting hand. There it was; the gift that was wrapped so beautifully, resting in my hand was a lump of coal. As I inspected the bag for the real gift, I noticed white lettering that I had missed before. On the bag was written, “You’ve been naughty”.

I will admit, I was a little miffed. All those beautiful boxes wasted on THIS? I wanted to cry! James and Gary were both laughing hysterically. They thought this was funny! I’m sure the look on my face was priceless. After the initial shock had worn off, I outwardly laughed with them at the joke they played on me, but inwardly I was still sore. All that expectation really played with my emotions. The Christmas chaos ensued, and James handed me another gift. This was considerably small and plainly wrapped in snowmen wrapping paper. I knew he had wrapped it from the distinctive way only men can wrap! I will still feeling the sting of the joke, so I wasn’t terribly enthusiastic about unwrapping this gift. Tearing the wrapping paper away, inside was a pair of earrings. They were beautiful. Silver dangle cross earrings; but wait, if you look at them just right, they were fish as well. This plainly wrapped gift was the best gift I had received. As I quickly removed the packaging from the earrings and placed them in my ears, I had completely forgotten about the practical joke. All was right with the world again.

As I think back on that Christmas, I can’t help but see a parallel to Jesus. Our expectation is great when we see something pretty or shiny. Something that is pleasing to look at must be spectacular, only to be sorely disappointed by what’s inside. That can be said about things and people alike. A woman can have all the money, the looks, the perfect man, the perfect kids, the perfect house; but without Jesus in her heart she might as well be a lump of coal for satans fire. BUT JESUS – he was plain. He was born to an unwed woman, in a barn, wrapped in sack clothes, and placed in a manger. Yet, he was and is the best gift of all!

Praying you accept the best gift of all today.

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Linking up with Rachel and Mr. Daddy for True Story Tuesday. For more true stories, head on over and check them out!

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