Everybody loves a good gift now and then. A good gift makes you excited. The best gift makes you feel seen and known. The most magical time to receive a good gift, I believe, is in childhood. The memory of it sticks with you, and you carry it in your heart alongside the knowledge that good things come to you.
When I was a little girl, probably about 6 years old, I was given one of the most beautiful gifts I’ve ever received. My passion for the romance of beauty began young, and truly this gift stirred my sweet, young, feminine heart.
My mother had a very good friend named Sarah, who she had known in high school. I knew her as Aunt Sarah when I was small, and we would see her from time to time. She used to give us precious gifts- I remember a blue pair of sheep pajamas that I wore until they withered and tore. But the best gift came in a gorgeous golden box, tied with a beautiful ribbon.
I can’t remember if it was a late birthday present or if it was just because. But when my eyes landed on the golden package, I couldn’t believe it. This is for me? How could something so extravagant be mine?
A part of me didn’t want to ruin the beauty by opening it, but the wonder of what could be inside overpowered me. Inside, underneath the delicate tissue paper, was a lovely red-headed doll. Her hair was braided yarn, and her dress covered in strawberries. I was in love, and immediately christened her as “Lucy” (it seemed the best most magical name to give her at the time, and I find in my adult years it to be still).
Lucy was loved very dearly and played with often in childhood. Though I grew and matured, no longer playing with dolls, I kept Lucy with me in safe places. Occasionally I will pull her out of storage and gaze upon the beauty of such a simple, yet extravagant gift she was.
How similar the feeling is when we think of the beautiful, simple, yet powerful gift salvation is. Our Father, the giver of life and life abundantly, has storehouses upon storehouses of good things to give us. The first, best gift He has given us, is the gift of redemption and salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ.
Recently, I have been reflecting on the goodness of God, and the extravagance that is the gift of salvation. It all started with that one, irreplaceable perfect gift. He knew we would fail, but He still loved us and wanted to know us. Through the salvation in knowledge and revelation of Christ, we have accessed unlimited gifts and blessings from the Father. Isn’t it wonderful to be loved and known by God? He gives the best gifts, the ones where we cannot possibly deny who they have come from.
I like to count my gifts in a day and thank Him for them, big or small. Sunshine, surprises, love. I see them all as beautiful as wrapped packages of gold, scattered through life. When I need to feel seen, when I need to feel known, He has been right there to lavish me with His gifts. His gifts are irrevocable (Romans 11:29), based on the individual (1 Corinthians 7:7), and better than anything anyone else can give (Matthew 7:11)!
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. -James 1:17
As you receive this gift of salvation, you are born again in the spirit. You now can carry this powerful gift with you for the rest of your life, and reflect on the extravagance of it. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. The wonder of it is captivating. I hope that for all my life, I stand before Him wide-eyed and mystified; never taking Him for granted.