For decades of Christmases I had an unopened gift under the tree. Santa didn’t put it there. It was placed there for me by the greatest gift giver of all. But I was scared of it, didn’t understand the packaging, and thought I needed to be in my Christmas best instead of my bedhead to open it. I couldn’t shake that it was really for someone else. So there it sat…
Turns out, that was all untrue. My Father was waiting patiently for me to open it. Wondering what my face would look like when I believed it really was for me and what I would do when I found priceless freedom inside. Watching to see, would I leave it in the box? Or take it out for a ride?
But I lacked faith.
I wasn’t sure if I needed or wanted the gift God was offering. Or if there was anything in the box at all outside of Sunday mornings. So I let it sit there. I ignored it and pretended it wasn’t calling out to me. I made excuses and thought I could make my own gift with my own hands. But the glue wasn’t holding.
He let me bend just enough so I would see the gift under the tree once again and would run to it and open it because there was nothing else that would do.
I tried and tried til God let weights of this life bring my heart’s eyes down. He let me bend just enough so I would see the gift under the tree once again and would run to it and open it because there was nothing else that would do. There was nothing else that I wanted or needed.
So by prayer, reading my bible, and asking God for His Holy Spirit and His help, I had enough faith to take the gift of my Salvation– and open it.
Inside the box was a new set of heavenly clothes purchased at a high price but worth every bit in God’s eyes. I put on my new self found in Christ and looked in the mirror and I saw something unexpected — it was the me that I was supposed to be from the start. It was me plus the love and forgiveness of my God.
I learned that God is a generous and patient gift giver and His grace is truly what extends the freedom of our Salvation in Christ. No effort of prying or pulling can open God’s free gift– only faith can do that. Not just faith that Jesus conquered death on the cross for the sin of those who believe, but faith that He did it for ME (for YOU!). Faith that He came so I wouldn’t roam this earth wondering if God loved me but walk it boldly proclaiming and living out His love.
I have Faith that He came so I wouldn’t roam this earth wondering if God loved me but walk it boldly proclaiming and living out His love.
When I started running with the gift of forgiveness and mercy and love from the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, my feet wanted to fly. And I have faith with Jesus they will have enough strength and endurance to run my best race.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV).