Tis the season.
To be jolly, the song says, but to go shopping for gifts is what the merchants (and my junk email box) say. Each morning I awaken to find announcements of one more sale, 20 additional percent off, another great buy and a last opportunity for a deal not to be missed.
Tis also the season to be stressed as you search for the “perfect” gift.
The perfect gift? You know, the one that best expresses the giver while meeting a need or desire of the receiver.
It can’t be one sided. Both the needs of the giver and the receiver must be met for the gift to be perfect.
My Sweetie opened his Christmas present last night. Yeah, Christmas is six days away. This seems to happen to us every year. Sometimes it has been because I couldn’t wait to give him the gift. Other times it has been because of schedules, travel and just other things that came up. This year, it was because I had a perfect gift for him.
Now let me just say, it wasn’t what many would think a romantic gift. It wasn’t a super unique gift. It wasn’t an extravagant gift. It was something simple. But it was perfect because it expressed the giver (me) – my attention to his needs, my desire to see him happy, my recognition of his practical nature… The gift also met a desire of the receiver (my Sweetie).
The gift? His favorite hair tonic.
When you stop laughing, keep reading.
He has used this certain hair tonic ALL of his adult life. His dad used this hair tonic. This tonic has become increasingly difficult to find. A bottle that used to sell for $8 when I first met him, was up for bid on ebay. Bidding began at $35 per bottle! He said a bottle used to sell for a couple of dollars!
Well, I had found a couple of bottles back in July when he was just about out. We had visited stores, scoured the Internet and contacted the manufacturer. I even visited a little country drug store and had the clerk contact their vendor. It seems that those two bottles (found on Amazon) were going to be the last two bottles on this earth. And then, I decided to search ebay one more time. I found someone who had a few bottles at a ridiculous price. I emailed this seller. We went back and forth. I made an offer to buy a case if he would give me a reasonable price. I begged, pleaded and propositioned. And, finally, we struck a deal – for 10 bottles!
So that was the gift. A year’s supply of his favorite hair tonic.
So why did he open the gift early – and where am I going with this story?
First, two weeks ago he told me the two bottles from July were just about empty. He asked if I thought I could find him some more tonic. I laughed to myself knowing that I was sitting on a case, had been since July. Last evening he asked if I had found any tonic because he probably had a day’s worth. I said, “No.” He asked, “Did you forget?” I said, “I didn’t look.” He seemed confused by this response. (Probably because this would be the first time I didn’t respond to a request. Smile.) After a few minutes of silence, he restated his plight; he was almost out. He had turned the bottles upright to drain every drop. He was sure I, the Internet Queen, would have found some by now.
So, I gave him the nicely wrapped Christmas present.
And when he opened it, you would have thought it was keys to a new Ford F250 (his favorite truck)!
It was the perfect gift. It expressed my love; it met his need and desire!
Where am I going with this long story?
My gift wasn’t really PERFECT. But there is a perfect gift given by a perfect God.
God gave His Son, Jesus, as gift to us, a sinful world.
Jesus, perfectly expresses the giver, God. “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being…” (Hebrews 1:3, NIV) “He is the image of the invisible God…” (Colossians 1:15 ESV)
This gift, Jesus, perfectly meets our need. “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 ESV) “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence…” (2 Peter 1:3 ESV)
In fact, our deepest needs can only be met through Jesus. He is the hope that will not disappoint and the hope that is renewed every day – “His compassions never fail. They are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Jesus is the perfect gift given by our perfect, loving God.
Have you unwrapped His gift?