17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
It was beautiful. I looked at it every single day reflecting the sun’s rays at twilight as it sat in the center of my mantel. The depths of the colors progressed infinitely as the light penetrated each layer. It was as if heaven were etched in the glass. He [God] told me to take great care of it, and I did…so I thought!
I remember the day He gave it to me. His hands reaching into mine gifting me with a precious and invaluable present. “I don’t deserve such a gift!” I muttered. “How can I ever repay you?” I asked. With grace in His eyes, He said, “The price was already paid. Take care of what I’ve given you so you can then give it to others.”
Wait! “You mean this gift really isn’t mine if I have to give it away?” I asked as He was walking away. Before long, my soul began an all out assault on His word through pride, control, and rebellion. “Surely He didn’t mean to say give it away,” I thought to myself. “I’m sure He meant for me to own it and take care of it.”
Therefore, I cleaned it, polished it, and dusted it daily. I gazed upon this gift as my prized possession, and others even commented on its beauty. I continued this routine without fail but wondered when He would return to give me another gift. You see, the days were getting hard, and I longed for His return.
As things of this world were taken from me, I cried out in despair and even anger. “Where are you? Why did you abandon me?” I shouted from valley lows. My enemies appeared to grow in number with friendly smiles and dagger-grips. “How long must I cry for help, but you do not listen?” [Habakkuk 1:1] I asked Him in my puddle of grief.
Without adequate reply, I grabbed His gift and forcefully threw it on the floor…broken.
The sound of shattered glass appeared to echo endlessly while my gilt tried to catch up to the pace of my actions. “What have I done?” I cried. I slowly leaned down until my hands and knees reached the shattered glass. Tears pooled on the hardwood making the shards dance in pairs as they moved in rhythm across the floor.
With my last breath of hope, a hand presses into my shoulder as I remained helpless on the floor. “Who could it be?” I thought. My water-filled eyes adjust to the man in the room standing next to me. “You came back!” I said with both excitement and conviction.
“I’m sorry for breaking your gift. You told me to take care of it,” I repeated with anxious confirmation in my voice. He lifted me up and traded places with me. I begged Him to stop. I was planning on cleaning up my mess. “I can repay you the cost if you let me know how much I owe you,” I asked with sorrow. “I’ve already paid for it; you can never repay,” He whispered while moving pieces of glass around.
I watched intensely as He moved pieces with purpose. He sat me next to Him and then it became clear…
He said, “The gift was Me inside of you. It was never meant for you to keep but to give away to those around you. Pride of life makes us hold on to things that were designed to be given away. The enemy wants you to believe two things about Me: that I don’t love you and that you can work for what I’ve already paid for. The truth is…I never left you. I heard every word, cry, and prayer. I was the whisper in your ear, the light in your eye, and the nudge in your spirit. Now this broken glass reveals the REAL GIFT – THE CROSS. The real gift couldn’t be fully revealed until you came to the end of yourself and ready to fully trust me.”
What a beautiful yet costly gift. The cross cost Jesus His life. But that is not the end of the story. This Easter, we remember His life, death, and resurrection. He’s ALIVE. What a beautiful gift, one to be accepted by all. We can never repay Him. We simply repent and accept it by grace. Go, therefore, and share this precious gift to all the nations.
Lesson: God’s gift of salvation is THAT good. Receive it today by grace. God is always good; He cannot be any different. No matter your situation, hill or valley, rest on His promises. “I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”