The little gift-box rested on the small coffee table in our sitting room. Its shimmery packaging winked at me in wonder and I moved closer to inspect the carefully scripted label:
“Don’t open until your birthday!”
I stood, transfixed – admiring its delicate paper and the large pink bow which encased it. I must have stood there for ages – gingerly touching it and examining the careful way it had been wrapped. But was in it? Perfume? A gift voucher? A ticket to some far-away destination? The intrigue was eating at me and its small size gave no indication of its value either. But the intention was clear: I was loved and this gift had been carefully prepared for me.
As my birthday drew closer I was reminded that this package was so much like my own “gift-in-waiting” to God. Although I have been given an earthly body, it is up to me as to what I put inside. Will mine be snow white, or sadly tainted? Will I be ready for the moment I meet my Lord? Am I worthy of being called a Temple of the Holy Spirit? Or will I be offering my Lord an empty mask?
Our reckoning day draws closer. Our packaging will be removed and the gift behind our masks revealed. What a joyful day it will be if our Master’s response is;
“Well done, my good and faithful servant!”
“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
(1 Samuel 16:7 NIV)
Reading: Psalm 139