As I type these words, I am sitting on my bed enjoying the coziness and the comfort that it so kindly offers me. It's just a simple, quaint bed. It serves its purpose, and well, but it is certainly nothing out of the ordinary for most of the year. At Christmastime, however, it is also much more than a place to rest. You see, I know something you don't.
Spoiler alert for any of my friends and family reading this: At this very moment, my bed is a hiding place for an abundance of gifts lying underneath this bed. To be honest, I'm not even sure if I would say that they are "lying" under the bed, as that would imply some level of rest and order. Those gifts are crammed in there, and the small space is packed to the gills with presents and purchases made with much thought and love.
Soon, they will be wrapped in festive paper, fitted with a pretty bow and placed beneath the tree. Smiling faces will welcome their arrival with anticipation. And then, before you know it, each gift will be unwrapped. That same paper that was put on with careful hands making careful movements will be ripped, crumpled and thrown out of the way with excitement. Joy will fill the air. But for now, the presents remain hidden underneath the bed.
Why? Because it simply isn't time to open them yet.
Even as I typed that last sentence, my heart could feel the sting. Waiting can feel hard, and oftentimes, there's no way to avoid it. It's a tough reality, but nevertheless, it's a true one.
In seasons of waiting (and waiting and waiting) in our lives, it's easy to believe that the giver has forgotten our request and that a day of unwrapping will never come. When I find myself in that place, I enter my room, I glance over at my bed and I remind myself of the things that lie hidden underneath the ordinary landscape of my life: an abundance of wonderful gifts from my heavenly Father, who is the giver of the best gifts possible. For real, you just can't top what He and only He can place underneath that tree, not to make mention what He already offered upon the ultimate tree. If I know the gifts my own children are waiting for are wonderful and good and will fill their hearts with joy, imagine how our Father in heaven must feel about all the good things He has planned for us.
This week my family received a brand new gift from the Father, one we have been waiting on for two years. In 2017, my husband was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer. We did not understand all that the diagnosis was going to bring to the table. It ushered in lots of tears, pain and fear, to say the very least. Along the way, though, the journey also brought to us a lot of unexpected gifts, gifts that we never would have received had we not entered into this season. It brought us gifts of healing through God and medicine, the gift of new friendships, the gift of learning how to live in the moment and the gift of learning how to truly value new life each and every day. Finally, this week we unwrapped the present we had hoped for most of all: the gift of a clean PET scan. The wait was long and hard, but today our joy is greater.
Whatever your circumstances today, the joy to come—tomorrow, next week, next year or on the other side of eternity—is even greater. As my children wait for Christmas and walk by my bed, day in and day out, without even so much as an inkling of what lies beneath, I ask the Lord always to remind me. I ask Him to remind me that He has a room much greater than mine where He is preparing the best gifts for me and my family. Those gifts are perfect in His sight and will bring more joy and peace than I could ever imagine. No matter how long I must wait to open them, they will present themselves in His perfect timing because He is a good Father, a perfect Father and a completely trustworthy Father. He is the giver of every good and perfect gift, a giver who eagerly awaits to bestow good gifts upon His children.
Right now, He is working.
He is prepping.
He is preparing.
He knows something you don't.
Dori French is an author, speaker, wife and mother of three. She loves God deeply and is passionate about ministering to those around her. She has been in and around ministry/leadership her entire life.
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