While I was wrapping his gift (still under a haze of disbelief…twenty…really?) I realized that I hadn’t gotten him a card yet. Not so long ago, that wouldn’t have been a big deal. My son was far more interested in what was in the box than what was written on a useless piece of paper. But, he’s grown and matured since then. Nowadays I see him taking the time to read the cards and express his thanks…even before he’s opened his presents.
It’s like that for all of us, isn’t it? As we grow older, birthday cards start to have a higher priority. What people say—the love they express— is often more important than the gifts themselves.
A little voice in my head got me to thinking about my walk with the Lord in a similar way. In the beginning of my journey as a Christian I was more interested in what the Lord could do and provide for me. My prayers revolved around my wants, my needs…my desires. I read the bible because I was supposed to, but I didn’t understand it. When I did receive an answer to prayer I was grateful, but soon would be on to the next request and didn’t reflect much on what the Lord had already done for me.
Sounds like your typical child, doesn’t it? Yes, I was a baby Christian.
Thankfully, the Lord sent me the Holy Spirit to guide me and help me mature in my faith. Those words that I used to read without understanding are now my spiritual life blood.
The Word of God—the expression of His love—has a much higher priority for me than my “daily bread” (now that I’ve grown and matured a bit).
Psalm 42:8 (NLT)
But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me,
and through each night I sing his songs,
praying to God who gives me life.
Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for His provision and never want to be otherwise, but
it’s the love behind the gifts that is really important.
It’s a pretty hefty greeting card, but I take the Bible out daily to hear my God speak to me. The words written there stir my soul and help me grow in my relationship with Him. Because, that’s what it’s really all about—my relationship with my Lord and Savior. The gifts and the blessings come after I nestle deep within His heart. I can only get there if I’m seeking His will for me. “Read the card, read the card,” He says, “It’s just what I want you to hear!”
Isaiah 50:4 (NLT)
The Sovereign Lord has given me his words of wisdom,
so that I know how to comfort the weary.
Morning by morning he wakens me
and opens my understanding to his will
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you so much for the gifts that you provide for me daily. I thank you even more for the gift of your Holy Spirit. He whispers your love to me as I pour over your words of wisdom. You gave us the best gift ever, your precious son, Jesus, and a wonderful greeting card that explains why. It’s your “how to be a child of God” instruction manual, but also a love note for me to understand your heart and best wishes for my life. I love you! Amen.