A friend of mine gave me a book several years ago. It is called “God’s Guest List” by Debbie Macomber. In the first few pages the author tells a story of a person going to Heaven. She is met by St. Peter. He takes her on a tour of Heaven and she sees a door that is closed. She asks if she can see inside. He, at first declines, saying it is a storeroom. He reluctantly takes out a key and opens the door. Inside the room is a never ending view of beautifully wrapped gifts. She claps her hands in delight and asks if these were the gifts for those in Heaven. She sees her name on several gifts. She asks if she can open them. She is told no. St. Peter explains that these gifts were meant to be opened while she was alive. He further explains that all of the gifts in the room were returned to Heaven unopened. (The link to the book is above)
This image detailed in the book has made such an impact on me. I am a big kid inside. I love presents. I love to see them in bags with tissue paper peaking out of the top, I love presents wrapped with big bows on them. I am a child when I see them.
Years ago, when our dog was still with us, I had to come up with a solution at Christmas time. At that time we had real trees and our dog would get into the tree water and it would make him sick, each and every time. So, obviously our tree skirt would be filled with stinky stuff from both ends of the dog (if you know what I mean). In response to this, I started to wrap fake presents to put under the tree as we put up the tree. Then on Christmas Eve they would be replaced with the real presents. I still do this although the dog is no longer here with us and we have an artificial tree. I pick a theme each year and I love how put together it looks. My grandchildren volunteer to open them after Christmas. They say, even it they are empty, it’s still fun to unwrap them. I totally agree with this logic.
Seeing a present with your name on it brings joy and sometimes surprise. The story from the book hit me with a stark reality. Daily we receive gifts from our Heavenly Father. James 1:17 says, “ 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.” (NKJV)
Now, these gifts aren’t always noticeable to us. Some of the gifts we take for granted. A roof over our heads, transportation, heat, food, health, these seem like they are our right. They are gifts. How many other things do we take for granted? How many gifts do we each send back and are now stored?
I desire to look for these gifts and to be thankful for them, using them however I can.
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. I Peter 4:10 (NLT)