As I began the tedious and somber task of tearing down all the Christmas decorations that reminded me of the blessings of the beauty and joy of another Christmas past, with all the changes that surrounded this year’s festivities, one thing stood out as I marveled at one particular gift box that remained. You see, this box was no ordinary Christmas box; yes, it was decorated festively with its design and packaging, not to mention the elegant gold bow that wrapped and sealed the gift nestled inside; but this gift box housed a handcrafted item made with love that will be used year after year, along with its wrapping, as decoration reminding me of the love that was poured into it!
When I started to peel off the gold bow to open the box and carefully place the Christmas coasters back inside, I reread the handwritten note and tucked it back inside while praising God for the precious gift of girlfriends that He so graciously surrounds my life with. Though part of her note said, “Your friendship is a perfect gift all by itself,” I pondered how this emulates beautifully the definition of what our Lord’s life and promises are all about: John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, that He lay down His life for His friends.” Jesus calls us “His friends” and freely offers His love whether we deserve it or not. He even promises to “always be there” so we’re never alone (Deut. 31:6; Joshua 1:5); now that’s a friend. He’s relentless in His pursuit by calling on us often just to say hello hoping we will reciprocate with a little time by saying hello back (you know, prayer, praise, and spending time in His Word).
My girlfriend’s gift of love and time that was so generously poured into will always be with me, not to mention the added cushion the yummy treats brought to my hiney; but it’s nice to know as I pack everything away securely so it will be here the next Christmas, I’m reminded of one promise that remains; whether future seasons are plentiful, seasons where there’s not enough to go around, or even seasons where they’re cold and lonely, one thing will always remain: LOVE.
Some of our girlfriends are put here for a short season with a reason and some are there for the long haul; but there is one thing that remains: The blessings of the “perfect gift” that cost God so much, “Jesus, who is our best friend for life.” Let us never forget by packing up what John 15:13 so beautifully promises, “Greater love has no one than this, that He lay down His life for His friends.” It is our perfect gift that keeps on giving! Wow, what a friend we have in Jesus!!! Let’s keep our relationship with Him fresh and alive and not packed away with the rest of the Christmas decorations!