Friday, December 27, 2013


      It seems each year there is one gift that defines Christmas for me.  God knows how I delight in surprises, so it is often unexpected, unplanned and wrapped in such a way I would never guess its contents.  It is only after the hustle and bustle and dust of the season settles that I reflect on days past and discover this special gift shining above all others--much like that Bethlehem star that led to the Christ-child long, long ago.
      This Christmas of 2013 was no different.
      My gift was dropped into a busy Friday before Christmas--a day that began with travel out of town to my grand-daughter's first Christmas program, returning home and scurrying to make last minute preparations for our family gathering the following day, all amidst my daughter's thirtieth birthday celebration.  Hardly the place nor the time to unwrap a gift as I was driving, eating, packing, buying, loading, wrapping, cooking, cleaning, celebrating.... 
      In fact, I would have missed this gift altogether had it not been for the persistence of my daughter in this being the purpose for her trip to town with her two year old daughter.  The tragic near drowning of our friend's two year old daughter that had left her with numerous impairments and disabilities had struck a tender chord in her own mother's heart as it had in so many others.  So on the downside of a long, busy day, the three of us--mother, daughter, grand-daughter--arrived bearing gifts and were greeted warmly by the same three generations.  Little did I know that I would be the one on the receiving end.
      As I sat on the floor in the middle of bags, bows, tissue paper, toys, torn wrapping paper,  Christmas decorations and two blonde-haired, blue-eyed little girls, God delivered His Christmas gift to me. His gifts, though not tangible, are eternal and transforming, reaching deep within the soul.  As the Psalmist says, "They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold" and always reveal the mysteries of Jesus.  He gives them generously, yet holds them until the heart is right for the pondering and cherishing.  I thought about the first Christmas gift He gave and the crowded inn, the stable, the noise and the "clutter" surrounding the birth of Jesus.  And in that small, crowded, cluttered, noisy room--and in a slice of time from eternity--God revealed Jesus as I unwrapped the gift and beheld true contentment. 
      Contentment is defined as "not desiring something more or different; happy enough with what one has or is; satisfied."  Nothing more clearly describes what I witnessed in that moment.  The Christmas gift of 2013 was all wrapped up in a two year old blonde, blue-eyed child and tied securely with contentment.  May I re-gift it many times over, in any and every situation, all the days yet to be lived for Him.

            "The gifts you sent...are a fragrant offering,
            an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God."
 Philippians 4:18