Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Regifting

Preach the Word of God. Preach it when it is easy and people want to listen and when it is hard and people do not want to listen. Preach it all the time. Use the Word of God to show people they are wrong. Use the Word of God to help them do right. You must be willing to wait for people to understand what you teach as you teach them.
~ 2 Timothy 4:2, NLV ~ 

That awkward moment when you realize a Christmas present  has no return receipt because it has been regifted…

If it hasn’t happened to you yet, you’re sure to experience it at some point in your life.  In fact, this passing on of an unwanted gift is so common that I heard two radio personalities casually discussing it yesterday afternoon.  Amidst their bantering, the two men agreed that regifting is permissible as long as there is "six-degrees of separation" between the new recipient and the original gift-giver.  You wouldn't want either of them to be offended now, would you?

My own extended family has shared uproarious laughter as we have opened regifted presents from a certain sibling each year.  While there were some incredible treasures like a warm Green Bay Packer blanket or special candy, there were even more that had everyone chuckling because they were a little "off", like the wooden moose dispenser that pooped candied chocolates, or the elaborately embellished Jesus clock.  The merriment of watching and wondering who would be the lucky recipient of the best regifting each year made for irreplaceable memories.

As I cherish these recollections, the smirks subside and I marvel in wonder that there is a gift we can pass on which those we love will never forget.  Incredibly, we still possess this prize even after we regift it to another.  You may have received this Treasure recently or you may have held it close for years.

The intimate, fortifying love of Jesus is too precious of a jewel to keep to oneself! 


That same Immanuel, "God with us", who rubbed your back as you wearily leaned over your child's hospital bed or who walked beside you as you marched into that brutal IEP meeting is the Gift who keeps on giving.

When people marvel, commenting, “I don’t know how you do it,” it is time for regifting!  These are the times where the door is flung wide open for people to hear about a Savior who is bigger than our worst parental nightmares.  During the holidays we are so close to others who don’t often get to see what life is like raising a child on the Autism Spectrum, or how challenging it is to maneuver with a child who has Cerebral Palsy, or the dietary juggling required with a child fighting Diabetes.  These people get a peek inside our daily lives.  It quickly becomes apparent to them that our high calling as parents to these children can never be answered without some serious help, and the opportunity for a conversation suddenly opens.  Hearts softened by the story of the Babe in a manger suddenly get to hear of the difference that same Miracle Child makes in our perseverance.  And we need not worry about offending the other person by sounding like a pushy evangelist, because we are merely sharing the story of our own personal encounter.

The Hope that makes all of our suffering pregnant with meaning; the One who bears all of our sorrows, when we can’t make sense of our child’s circumstances; the Savior come to earth, dying that we might live is the rich, understated gift that can permeate all of our gatherings throughout Christmas and New Year.  What an awesome regifting to lift another heavy heart out of the bottomless muck where they’ve been spinning their wheels for years!  This is Love – passing on THE eternal treasure that starts here and now, and can never be stolen from us.

The warranty is sealed in the blood of that Immense Power who cares enough about each of us to have contained and humbled Himself in the form of a homeless newborn.

Although, we might find ourselves worn and cash-strapped as the parent of a challenged child, our richness lays in Who fills us.  When the Giver of every good and perfect gift is our life-line, we can be sure that our divine regifting occurs before we have even spoken our first word.  His presence radiates from within us.

God bless you with a Christmas glowing with the glory of knowing that you belong to Jesus!  Be sure to share the gift!

PRAY:  Jesus, You gave more than we could ever repay.  Your love is greater than our minds can even fully comprehend.  Yet, some hearts walk needlessly in the deep pain of not knowing You.  Help me to pass on the gift of Your hope this Christmas, whether it be in word or deed.

~ Barb Dittrich ~


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