The Highly Anticipated Gift

21 Dec

It was our first year together as a couple. I was so incredibly proud of myself for thinking of the gift that would absolutely wow Shady. But it didn’t come easy!

First, it required picture perfect memory. I remembered Shady pointing out a motorcycle on the road that he said was his absolute favorite. Considering the fact that I can’t tell the difference from one car to another (the only distinguishing quality is the colour in my opinion), remembering the name of this motorcycle after just one conversation was a monumental accomplishment.

Then it required some detective work. At the time MSN was still widely used, and I knew that Shady had a picture of the motorcycle on his profile. I searched through the pictures, found the motorcycle, and then did some hunting on the Internet to confirm that this was in fact the motorcycle he dreamed of.

And then the brilliance. I went online to search for dye cast models of the bike. I found one site that sold miniature replicas. The ad said that it came with functioning headlights, real rubber tires, even a replica of the engine. Imagine his surprise when he would open up his present, probably expecting a pair of socks or a belt, only to find his very own, fully functional, miniature Suzuki motorcycle.

I raved about his present for weeks. I told him how excited he was going to be. How proud he was going to be of me. How he’ll never guess what it is, and even if he tries, it won’t come close to what I’d actually gotten him. I know, I came dangerously close to over-selling my present. I even told his friends…just wait until you see what I’ve gotten Shady. Sure, it was expensive. But it was the perfect gift…and the anticipation would be well worth it.

Finally the day came when the motorcycle arrived in the mail. I was so eager to hold it in my hand, wrap it perfectly, and set it on my floor and begin the countdown of when he’d get to open it. Only thing was, I just couldn’t figure out why it was so light. And small. Light and small weren’t really what I was expecting…but I was sure it would all work out perfectly.

And so the day to exchange gifts finally arrived. We sat in his parent’s living room and pulled out our nicely wrapped presents I was taken back by how big my present was. And when I opened it, wow, I was so excited. Such a beautiful winter jacket, and such a nice duffel bag to go with it. He told me how he had spent so long in the store trying to find a jacket and bag that matched nicely together (a story of success for someone who is colour blind, I’ll give him that). It was obvious he’d spent way more than I did…but that didn’t matter, just wait until he revved up the engine of his mini motorcycle!

And then he did. And then I realized why it was so light. And so small.

It was a plastic model. Yes friends…Plastic. Sure there were tires and headlights…but they were stickers. Sure there was an engine. It was plastic too. The whole thing was worth no more than $20, and that’s putting it generously. Not only was it not what I had anticipated, I also realized I had been incredibly ripped off.

I looked down at my expensive winter jacket and matching bag. I glanced at his plastic model and stickers. This moment was not going quite as I had anticipated.

Perhaps you know the anguish of trying to plan the perfect gift for a loved one. Maybe your story turned out differently than mine. The gift was actually what you had planned and the moment just as you had anticipated. Or perhaps like me, there was a tiny hint of disappointment in your loved one’s eyes. Ugh…just thinking about it, four years later, still makes me want to cringe.

What is it about us that loves to give gifts to those around us? Why do we so enjoy picking out the perfect gift, seeing our friend’s reaction as they unwrap it, watching their eyes light up with excitement.? Could it perhaps be because we are created in our Father’s image…who Himself is the master of giving good gifts:

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17

As we draw nearer to Christmas day,  it’s important to stop and remember that this is not about the gifts that we are giving to each other. Ultimately, it is about the Gift sent from heaven over 2000 years ago. What’s more, this was a gift that had long been anticipated for hundreds, even thousands of years by those who walked with God.

For years, followers of God cycled through times of prosperity, followed by sin, leading to punishment… resulting in the promise of redemption. Over and over they cycled between sin and redemption. They longed for the day when the promised Messiah would arrive to free them from the tyranny of sin and from the oppression of the nations that were used to bring down God’s judgement on them. God sent several prophets to give incredible details about this coming Messiah. Where He would be born, what He would accomplish, even how He would die and rise to life again. Reading these words now we see the striking accuracy of these prophecies, all foretelling the coming of Christ:

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
From everlasting.” Michah 5:2

“But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
Give some of these verses.” Isaiah 53:5-6

The list of prophecies given in the Old Testament are too numerous to list here. These were just a couple. But do a search of all that was foretold and you will see that God had this moment in time planned from before the creation of the world. The coming of the Messiah, His life and death, His resurrection and continued work in the lives of those who believe … these are the good and perfect gifts that come down from the Heavenly Father.  And His second coming, this will be the climax of all of human history.

Our gifts? Sure, they are nice. They make our loved ones smile, they bring them joy for a time. But no gift meets the need of our hearts, the eternal longing in our hearts,  other than the gift of the long awaited Messiah, Jesus Christ.

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth;
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world1 rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn;

Fall on your knees, Oh hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine.

 

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2 Responses to “The Highly Anticipated Gift”

  1. Teena December 21, 2012 at 11:47 AM #

    What a good reminder that HE is our gift everyday! Thanks Dina!
    Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family!!
    Love you!

  2. Ee December 24, 2012 at 4:21 PM #

    Amen Dina.

    Ee

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