The Gift

Have you ever received something that you really didn’t want? Maybe it didn’t adjust well into your “I want” list, was the wrong color, style, or something of the sort?
My husband and I were flooded with thoughtful gifts on our wedding day 20+ years ago. Among the presents were glass candle holders, table cloths, silverware, camping supplies, and more. We truly were blessed by the generosity of others. 
(Gosh, I feel like a greedy kid typing that word, like the youngster our family affectionately calls “Squirrel Girl” in the 2005 movie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.) 
However…I had a bridal registry. 
Hopefulness overflowed that the neat and tidy picture of marriage would include the finishing touches of perfect gifts, all lined in a row. 
And those perfect gifts? 
Of course they would be the items on the registry, exactly as I desired. (I really am a mess apart from Jesus’ saving grace. This is certainly proof!)
We received many items on that registry. One gift in particular was from the right category, but it was the wrong style. However, wrong, like beauty, was in the eye of the beholder. There was a tinge of disappointment holding me hostage when I saw the style. You know the kind: Oh, this is nice, buhht… 
The grateful child within me was coaxing me toward freedom.  
Just be happy. Be content with the thoughtfulness.
I could hear my mama ringing in my ears, those teaching moments for gratefulness echoing clearly. Be thankful…
In a decision that would make Mom proud, I tossed aside the ungrateful childishness. It was a choice to like, use, and enjoy the gift. 
Case closed.
It was used often. And the more it was used, surprisingly, the more I liked it. The tinge of disappointment mellowed with time as I grew to love this gift. In fact, I loved it more than the original version I had put on the registry. (I had purchased a small piece to the set just before the wedding.)
The “unwanted” gift was a much better fit for our family and lives. 
It was usable.
It was right.
Much like that wedding gift from 20+ years ago, there is a gift waiting today for you and me that is usable and right. It’s one we may not want initially. In fact, we may toss this “Jesus thing,” manger and all, discarding it like a rotten piece of fruit. I certainly did during my early adult years. 
But then I realized life wasn’t working as I had planned it. Something was missing.
Life’s registry, those things I desired like attention, material things, and perfection, weren’t the right fit after all. They didn’t fill my need adequately. There was a hole.
But Jesus….
He’s always the right gift.
His love fills life’s holes adequately…every time.
He awaits today to be your gift. 
Have you accepted Jesus, your gift? 
Have you unwrapped His forgiveness, His love? 
Have you accepted Him, pulled Him into your life, and seen, first-hand, how beautiful the fit?
You may have thought Jesus didn’t “fit” initially. He may not have been what you thought you wanted or needed.
May I gently speak words of assurance that Jesus is always what you and I need
Without Him, there is no entrance into Heaven, a place where there are no tears, no untimely deaths, nothing of bad.
Without Him, what’s forgiveness, love, and mercy? 
Without Him, what’s purpose?
There’s a celebration every time a person unwraps this gift, allowing Jesus to be their Savior. (Luke 15:10) It doesn’t mean they have to be a Bible thumper or radical weirdo, unwrapping this gift. 
It means a period replaces the question mark at sentence-end. All Heaven celebrates the goodness. It means they realize they can’t do life alone. They need this gift. They need Jesus.
What better time of the year for another celebration.  Are you tired of doing life alone? Are you ready for that hole to be filled, for the certainty of His goodness in Heaven? 
It’s okay. Simply reach out and grab that gift today.
I can’t do life alone. I need You. Thank You for being my gift of forgiveness and love. Forgive my sins, wipe them clean. Prepare me for Heaven by preparing me here on Earth. Be my Lord. Be my Savior. I love You, Jesus. Amen.
If you, or perhaps someone you forwarded this to, prayed that prayer, I’d be honored to say, “Woot! Woot! Let’s celebrate!”
If you have questions or wonder where to turn next, please email me. I’d be honored to encourage you with those next steps.
That gift you just opened? 
You now have all you need.
Merry Christmas, my friend!
Rejection, Free, Devotional

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