Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Surprising Thing about God's Christmas List

Nutmeg-flecked eggnog rises in sweet slow-moving waves to my tongue. I smile with closed-lips and mull it around my mouth. On this last day of December, our Christmas tree still sparkles red, green, orange, pink, despite olive green rigor mortis setting in.
Photo Credit: Flickr user Anne, Creative Commons, cc license
You probably saw glimpses of it this Christmas too? The delight that breaks across faces in smiles and gleeful laughter. It hovered in my eight year old's eyes this first year that he remembers choosing and giving gifts of battered candy bars from his Halloween stash.

"Dad will like this candy, right?" he had asked earlier, with pensive eyebrows raised, wrapping paper poised.

"Dad'll love anything you give to him, bud," I assured him.

And then on Christmas morning, Daniel and his brother passed out the presents, reading Daniel's handwritten recipients.

"Mmmm, thank you, Daniel," Mark grinned to him, and Daniel sighed happily.

This week, a grey charcoal plastic bag arrived by mail. Twenty-one year old John snatched it up eagerly after work.

"Morgan! Come see your present," he yelled to his sister downstairs.

Squeals and shrieks followed. Morgan bounced up steps and stood with arms out, wearing a t-shirt specially ordered for her. "They're my favorite characters," she said, pointing them out to us.

And this desire to study loved ones, to wonder about and seek out gifts that will please them and be for their joy is what captures me this week, because I saw it in God too. 

The words caught me as I traced finger across Bible pages and smooth-rolling gel pen across my journal. Words in the Bible book of Hebrews describe the Godhead pausing to study his people, reflecting on the best gifts to give them, and then moving with joy and delight.

The image stopped me, and my pen stalled as well. Could it be? Did God stop and reflect when choosing gifts for us in the same way that we wrestled and reflected on the presents we wanted to give loved ones around us?

I re-read it, seeing the words, "distributed according to his will." Will: having to do with desire, having an opinion, reflected in something you wish, rather than not wish; connected with "This is what I choose, want, decide, desire." According to his will, the Holy Spirit looked at us, knew us, and chose what presents to give us -- for our delight and his glory. 

I underlined it and pulled my journal nearer to reflect on it and talk with my God. "You are alive and active, God-Spirit, and you willed, desired, wanted to, had opinions about which gifts you gave me. Thank you! Help me continue to hone and use them for your glory, for others' good, and in humble joy each time." 

God has thought about you and deliberately chosen gifts for you. As 2017 strides in, join me in remembering and reflecting on what this means for you and me, will you?

And the delight that crosses his face every time we enjoy our gifts, it must be brilliant! 

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2 comments:

TC Avey said...

Great post.
God is so good. His plans for us are bigger than we can imagine.
This past year God has been showing me how He enjoys me and how He enjoys others. He's been opening my eyes and showing me how I can enjoy others.
Serving Him isn't about a set of rules. It's a relationship. It's growing together through the good times and bad. It's being there for others just as He is always here for us.
God bless you and your family.

Melissa Arifin said...

Your writing is so creative and sweet to the soul! God bless you sister!!