My twelve-year-old son sat next to me in the car, scrolling away on his phone while we were waiting for his little sister to finish school. “Woah!” he said, as he looked at something on his phone. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I should look or just give him his space. It’s hard to tell sometimes. Especially after a tough day in year 8. Ha!
“I will never forget this day, as long as I live!” he said. Now I was truly intrigued. I sneaked a peek over to the passenger side and thankfully, he was happy to show me the picture he had been staring at. It was from a couple of months ago. Christmas morning. He took a picture of the presents stacked under the tree.
OK. I will confess, we may have gone a little overboard. We didn’t actually spent that much, but my son had recently discovered an affinity for boxing and we had bought all sorts of little paraphernalia to accompany the punching bag he wanted for Christmas. To make sure that our girl-child did not feel neglected, we wrapped all sorts of bits and bobs. From pencils and bobbles to creams and bubbles, we wanted to make sure that they had an equal amount of things to unwrap. (Not that they were counting! They were opening those presents so fast).
It became a wrapping nightmare! And as a result, it looked like Santa may have had one too many complimentary brandy’s and forgot the rest of Lancashire’s gifts under our tree! This obviously struck awe into my son; so much that he had to take a picture to commemorate the moment. That Christmas morning, he had received the abundance of grace!
“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.”
Romans 5:17 NKJV
As Aidan was sitting in the car, awestruck at the picture of the mountain of gifts beneath the Christmas tree, it made me smile as I realised that he appreciated that little moment of abundant grace in his life. But it also delights my heart that he is using those gifts. When he picks up his kit and faithfully goes to class. When I hear him throwing punches at his punching bag, practicing what the coach has shown him. I am dreaming with him, to see him reach his goal. One day, he will be a champion!
(Although I have to admit a little nervousness about that gorgeous face getting a blow, I am excited when I see him reach for his dreams. And quietly praying for him to find another, less violent one, maybe? Ha!)
How sad would it be if Aidan decided to just stay there, staring at the tree on Christmas morning? If he never actually ripped off the (hours of) wrapping and started taking up the gifts he had been given, to pursue his dreams. My heart feels challenged by this as I think of how many of God’s children, created and called for greater works, are unable to receive the gifts at the bottom of another tree.
This tree wasn’t covered in tinsel and baubles, but was drenched in the priceless blood of the Lamb. The greatest gift we will ever open, the gift of Grace. And there is an abundance of it, for each one of us! Grace that empower us, equip us, that give us what we need to fulfil our God-given purpose and destiny: to rule and reign in life.
Today, I feel really challenged to ask myself: Am I only spending time marvelling at the tree, or have I taken the steps forward, to grab hold of the abundance of grace underneath it? Have I received my gifts, uncovered them, put them on and am I using them? There’s nothing wrong with staring in marvel at what our good Father has done for us, but it blesses his heart, when we take what he has given us and use it for his glory.
Have you opened your gifts?
It’s time to receive.
Today, I hear the Father excitedly say: “Wonderful Child! Come to the Tree! Come see the marvellous gifts that I have lovingly prepared for you, even before I created the foundations of the Earth. My Grace is there to empower and equip you to fulfil the desires of your heart. Desires, that I have placed within you. As you delight yourself in the abundance of my grace, you will become a champion of my glory. Glory, that the world desperately needs. Receive my Gift. Become the Gift. You are glorious!” ❤