The thought behind God's gift to us all

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The saying goes "it's not the gift but the thought that counts." But I say the gift reveals the thought.

One year for Christmas my son gave me a St. Louis Cardinals wallet. It was blue with the Cardinal bird on the bat logo on the front and it was held together with the worlds strongest Velcro. When I went to the store with him in tow and I pealed opened the Velcro, it was so loud people were turning to see who this crazy person was that was tearing down the cash register. The wallet was not what I would have chosen for myself.

My son bought the wallet by himself at a store for kids. He chose this gift for me. When he gave me the wallet he told me, "I wanted you to have this because you always carry a wallet, you like the St. Louis Cardinals and you can put a picture of me in it." His thought overshadowed the gift.

God has given very unique and very important gifts. One of those gifts is trust.

The gospel of Matthew tells the story of Joseph who was betrothed to Mary who was pregnant with a child that was not his. A controversy in its day that would make today's daytime TV look tame.

In their day adultery was punishable by death. Joseph understood this. However he didn't want to make a public spectacle of Mary. He decided to divorce her quietly, sending her away sparing her and the child's life.

That night an angel of the Lord via a dream came to him with a message. The Lord told Joseph, "Don't be afraid. This is my doing. His name is Jesus. I have promised all of this. He is God with us. Trust me"

Trust is a gift of God because it is an invitation to lean into Him. Trust is an invitation to step past what we see, what we feel and the fear that wants to consume so that we can rely upon who He is, what He has done and what He has yet to do.

The unwritten rule of gift giving is that the thought of who is getting the gift drives what the gift is.

This is what God has done. Because you and I were on His mind, He gave His only son. With His son comes the gift of trust. Trusting Him in all things, especially when we cannot see the end.

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer. Read more from him at

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