A Big Wow in a Small Box
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”- 2 Corinthians 4:7
What is your “go to” Christmas gift-wrapping and gift-giving technique? Are you a keep it simple and straightforward type: with the type of gift in an appropriately sized box or bag, placed directly under the tree? Or are you the type who likes to shake it up and bring a surprise to the special gift that is coming: the gift size/type does not match the packaging it comes in and the gift is hidden somewhere beyond the sight and reach of the recipient?
If you fall into the latter category, then the big question is which box do you prefer: a shoebox or a U-Haul box? In my opinion the shoebox is the universal Christmas gift holder as you can place a rolled-up shirt or jeans in it, a small electronic device or appliance, a fancy watch or jewelry, a toy or gift card, and I guess you can even have a pair of shoes in them. The point is this…just because it is a shoe box, doesn’t mean you have to find shoes inside of it. No, at Christmas time a gift in the shoebox can be so much more! It can have a value greater than a pair of Vans; it can meet a need more precious than a pair of Nike sneakers; and it can have a special meaning beyond a pair of Sketchers.
This Christmas I want us to believe and receive the personal and dynamic gift that Jesus desires to impart to and implant within us. When we look in the mirror or compare ourselves to someone that we think is more talented, more well-of, and is living more of the good life, we may see ourselves very much like an ordinary shoebox. We can easily label ourselves as small, worthless, and insignificant. Many times in the Bible, God’s people operated from an inferiority complex. One specific example is when God had promised to give the land of Canaan to His people. They went out to spy the land that God had desired and destined for them, only to come back discouraged and defeated. In Numbers 13:32-33, they give the grim report of their own lack of greatness, “And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they explored…’All the people we saw there are of great size…We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” This is not even close to the gift that God saw in the people He had chosen to be His very own. Look at the reality of the radical love from the Divine Gift Giver in Deuteronomy 7:6-8a, “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be His people, His treasured possession. The Lord did not set His affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you…”
This Christmas would you allow the Holy Spirit to help you to see that you are so much more than ordinary? You are a vessel of God filled and overflowing with love, truth, power, and blessing! We are indeed the Lord’s “treasured possession” and because of that we are to operate at a faith, peace, and strength level that far exceeds human measurements and limitations. In 1 Corinthians 3:16 Paul declares what is really at work within us, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” And in Ephesians 3:20 he speaks to a priceless and powerful output based on the One who resides in us, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.”
On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day many will open with a great enthusiasm a gift that contains a brand new, latest edition Smart Phone (It may even come in a shoe box). The Smart Phone serves as a great illustration of the CAPACITY we have with God. Many will recall the very first cell phone from the 1980’s. It was a rather large, ugly looking device. As BIG as it was it only could complete ONE FUNCTION: to make and receive calls. Heck, there wasn’t even texting back then. Despite its great size, it was singular in function. That is completely different than today’s version of cell phones. The modern Smart Phone is much smaller in size than the original model, yet its inner workings/components are far greater: it can make calls, receive texts, search the internet, check emails, take pictures/videos, pay for products, and even make breakfast (okay, maybe not true yet). The point for us to focus on is this…that just as the cell phone of today does not have to be large to do great things, you and I do not have to look the way the world does to be successful and we are not limited by physical appearance or present circumstance. Let’s open to the GIFT OF GOD which will allow His strength to fill us when we are weak, His peace to calm our chaos, His healing touch to mend our brokenness, His light to shine in the darkness, His grace to overcome sin, His mercy to triumph over judgment, and His love to conquer every fear. God has something so special for you even if it comes in a shoebox, because He works the immeasurable in the most irregular packages!