My friend placed the package in front of me. It was beautiful with its white on pale blue embossed gift wrap. A ribbon was tied around the package, not just any old way but with care and artistry, strands of it separated and curled carefully with scissors to create twists and spirals around the bow. It was so pretty, I didn’t want to touch it. I wanted it to stay there, forever gracing my table with its oh so pretty perfect wrapping.
“Open it!” said my friend. “You’ll love what’s inside it”
“But it’s so pretty” I said. “I don’t want to ruin it by opening it. I just want to look at it”.
“You’ll like what’s inside more than the wrapping paper!” She said with confidence.
But still I hesitated.
When I finally opened it I realized immediately that she was right – I did love it. So much more. What was inside was useful and lovely and something I longed for but would never buy myself.
Sometimes I think I gift wrap God. I wrap Him in pretty paper with ribbon. I try to put him conveniently into a gift box, contained and concealed where I can just enjoy lovely gift wrap and the matching bow; flawless decoration with little purpose.
God. The Sovereign Lord. The Maker of the Universe. The idea is ludicrous, but I do it.
Is it my worry that I won’t like or want what is inside? That containing God is easier than wrestling with who He is and what He requires? This thought makes me swallow hard and cringe a little.
A gift that sits in its wrapping paper may look pretty but is essentially stripped of use, emptied of its power. It’s useful only as a dust catcher that on closer look isn’t that great. And when I gift wrap God that’s exactly what I do – I strip him of His character and block my ability to respond; block myself from being changed, transformed, comforted and loved.
My prayer and challenge is that I open up the package accepting the gift for what it is in all its mystery and wonder. My Gift-Wrapped God.