We had a rule in our house. “No picking up or shaking the packages under the Christmas tree.” But there was no rule against sitting in front of the tree and imagining what was inside those boxes that had my name on them. Was it a new model car, or a new engine for my Lionel train set? While mom and dad were very loving and caring with the gifts they carefully wrapped for each of us kids, often those “special” packages turned out to be new socks or pajamas.
After the wrapping paper was scattered across the living room, and each box had been opened with excitement and wonder, all too soon it was done. Although I was happy with what I received, often I was left with the feeling that the anticipation was greater than the reality.
But if what I read in the Bible is true, there will come a day that will exceed all our expectations! “But as it is written: ‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love him.’” I Corinthians 2:9. The Message Bible puts it this way, “No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it— What God has arranged for those who love Him.”
We’ve read about streets of gold, and water like crystal. We can hardly wait until we are able to snuggle into the mane of a lion, or ride on the back of a zebra. We sing about a mansion “just over the hilltop” and never growing old. (won’t that be great) These are all wonderful, very, very wonderful. And yet, what God has in store for us is much more, much better; tailor made just for us.
So as we sit around the Christmas tree, surrounded with pretty packages, may we remember – and be thankful – for the gift of Jesus, who came to this earth for the sole purpose of making it possible for us to live with Him for eternity. The reality will far exceed anything we can imagine!
May we all be there.
Mike Edge, Conference President