Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Receiving the Gift

"I'm telling you about this in person so that you can't turn it down," she said.

We stood on my driveway, me a little nervous about what she had to say, and she a little excited about her proposition.

My friend had arranged for someone to come clean my house for me.

Immediately, panicked and guilt-ridden thoughts started swirling around in my head.

"Why does she think I need someone to clean my house?"
       "Addie was at her house the other day... did she tell her our house is dirty?"
              "When she dropped Addie off, did she peek in and see the mess?"
                     "Do I seem like I'm a slob?"
                            "Does she pity me?"

No.  She just wants to bless me.

And I felt a nudge.  Receive the gift.

She was right - had she called to offer it over the phone, I would've talked her out of such a crazy idea.  Like pushing back a thoughtfully picked out and wrapped gift, I would've turned her down and refused the help.

Receive the gift.
After we made arrangements for the housekeeper to come over, I hemmed and hawed and second-guessed my decision to allow it.  I don't deserve it - maybe others need it more than me.  My house isn't messy enough - I can handle it myself.  But then again, maybe it's too messy - can she handle it?  Maybe this can all just wait for another time.  Nah, nice thought, but she shouldn't come over.

Receive the gift.

With anxiety often taking over the excitement I should've felt, I scurried around my house and did just what the housekeeper was coming to do.  I cleaned mirrors.  I picked up toys.  I wiped down counters.  I could do this myself, and then, see?  I'd have no need for her.

Receive the gift.

And then I realized:  is this not unlike how I often treat the ultimate gift?  God's gift to the the world - to ME?  His son Jesus?

Sometimes I push Him aside with every excuse not to accept the gift:  I'm not good enough.  I'm not worthy.  I'm not bad enough.  I can handle this myself.  The timing is bad.  Not now... not now.

Or I think that yep, it's time to get serious and go deeper.  But first... FIRST!  I try to clean up my life a little bit and get things just right.  Because THEN I'll be ready.

But that defeats all that he came to do for me.

Receive the gift.

Long ago, in a dirty, humble, smelly stable, God's Son Jesus, the King of Kings, was born in the flesh.  He came in person.  Maybe he knew we might turn him away otherwise.  He came in the form of a chubby, cooing, dimpled, irresistible baby.

And yet, for each thought I have about this Christmas miracle, about this baby being born just to die for me later, another thought surfaces about how surely it wasn't meant for me. No, I can't accept it.  I can't live up to all that is required.  My life is too messy, too busy, too comfortable.

We hurry about our lives trying to fix our own problems and carry our own burdens and cheapen the gift that the Master Gift Giver has offered us for all of eternity.  Jesus didn't come to see how good we could be.  I heard once that God doesn't love us because we're good.  He loves us because He is good.  I'm thankful for that, because sometimes I feel pretty unlovable.  He didn't come to find out how great and perfect our lives are.  He came to save us from ourselves.  I need that.

And so as Christmas approaches, I'm trying to really learn how to accept the gift.  I'm ignoring any attempts to push it away because I don't deserve it.  I'm realizing that I don't need to hurry around making my life seem perfect for Him when He wants to do it himself.  Instead, I'm basking in the anticipation of the climax of this Christmas season; in the gift of love special-delivered straight from God's hands to us.

"He came into the very world he created, but the world didn't recognize him.  He came to his own people, and even they rejected him." John 1:10-11, NLT

Reject him?  I can't. I can't put my hands up and refuse this gift, no matter how unworthy I feel, especially now, this Christmas, when the gift of Jesus is put so blatantly in front of me.  I am loved.  YOU are loved.  You ARE loved.   You are LOVED.

Receive the gift.

"But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God." John 1:12, NLT


  1. Awesome and beautifully written! Thank you! xoxo

  2. I don't know you, I only lurk about reading your blog because I love your sense of humor. But that post moved me to tears. I'm still crying. Thank you. I needed to hear that, apparently.


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