The Gifts I Leave Wrapped


“So often, these presents are wrapped up and ready to be opened, if only I would seek out His presence.”

3 …
The number is hardly out of her mouth before I’m sprinting through the house

2 …
like the Purina Beggin’ Strips dog “getting that bacon,”

1 …
but she finishes before I can make it to the presents. Dejected, I am left watching wistfully as my little brother–who was hiding behind the tree–gets to open a Christmas gift early.

My mom enjoys playing mind games with her children. She would entice us with promises of early yuletide joy … IF we could beat her countdown to the wrapped treasures under the tree. Mom always waited until she was certain we were at the far end of the house before she started counting.

Until my brother’s crafty mind outsmarted her.

Actually, if I remember correctly, I used one of mom’s own tactics–“sweet eyes,”  she liked to call it–and convinced her that since Chris had gotten to open a gift, I should too.

How I wish that my heart would learn to go after God’s gifts with the childish zeal and abandon that drove me to drop everything and hurdle the sofa that day.

Just like my mom, my Father thrills in the excitement and joy of His kids. Like her, He goes out of His way to select gifts that will not only meet a need but also prompt squeals of delight. So often, these presents are wrapped up and ready to be opened, if only I would seek out His presence.

Stored somewhere in the filing cabinets of my mind is the knowledge of this truth, but my heart has a hard time finding it for all the Facebook feeds, monthly budgets, TV transcripts, to-do lists and other adult paperwork that clutters the path.

Why do I so often choose to temporarily appease my desire for what I know cannot last when God is freely offering a banqueting table full of that which can never be taken from me?

I think it is because my mind teaches my heart to forget. Or perhaps, in some instances, my heart never really learned in the first place.

In either case, my heart desperately  needs to become more versed in Daddy’s extravagant ways. I recognize and can even utilize mom’s “sweet eyes” but turn a deaf ear to the whispers of the One who would pursue me to the ends of the earth, by means of an endless stream of artful gestures.

It is the junk food addict’s dilemma. I can’t crave the things that would nourish and satisfy because of my infatuation with what is good for a moment.

The solution for the junk food lover is to rid the system of carbs and sweets so that the appetite can be trained to crave vegetables and fruit.

And for me? My course is easier, because every small step I take toward God will be met with a giant leap. Truthfully, I need not even lean to step out on my own; it is His wooing that stirs me to make the move.

However unfamiliar I may be with the heart of God, He is intimately aquainted with the far recesses of my mind and the depths of my soul.

The only one who knows every wall of my heart, My Father is both the giver of presents and my guide into His presence. He alone is willing to keep giving, guiding and chasing for as long as it takes.

“He brought me to the banqueting house, And his banner over me was love.”–Song of Solomon 2:4 (NKJV)

“We love Him because He first loved us.”–I John 4:19 (NKJV)

You just read the 4th post in a series called 7 Days of Focus on Jesus. May all of our hearts be turned toward Him this Christmas. If you missed a post, you can find it below:

Why Jesus Went Christmas Shopping
‘Twas the First Christmas Evening: A Retelling
5 Simple Christmas Activities that Point Kids to Jesus

To keep up with days 5-7, subscribe by scrolling down and entering your e-mail address in the form below. 

5 comments on “The Gifts I Leave Wrapped

  1. Pingback: Light: This is Christmas | Free to Surrender

  2. Pingback: 4 More Christmas Activities that Point Kids to Jesus | Free to Surrender

  3. Pingback: An Invitation to Christmas Dinner | Free to Surrender

  4. Charlene Sowell

    Holly, I get as much or I should say more from your blogs than I do on Sunday morning. You make things more understandable. I don’t always comment but I read each and every one of your blogs. My faith is stronger and my heart much closer to God. All because of your giving blogs

    I love you and pray for your family and so glad to call you my niece.


    • Aunt Charlene, thank you so much for your words. I am so glad to hear that God is drawing you closer to Himself, and isn’t He good to use your comment to encourage me as well! Thank you for praying for us! I am praying for you too.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: