My dad was a huge fan of Christmas. Because of this fact, every year he had a contest with himself to see if he could outdo his gift-giving from the previous year. Now, before you get the wrong idea and start thinking that I was given ponies and other extravagant presents, his challenge wasn’t if he could give a gift of greater expense, but rather his goal was to somehow bless us to a further degree. Whether this was in the way that he surprised us with the present – hiding it until all the gifts were unwrapped or in giving us something that we didn’t even know we wanted, he sought to demonstrate how much he loved his family by giving good gifts every Christmas.
Knowing this about my dad, it always made the Christmas season full of eager anticipation. We often didn’t know what blessing would lie in wait for us, but we knew that whatever my dad had plotted and planned, that it would be good. After all, he loved his family dearly and this is just one of the many ways he showed it.
In the Christian life, I think some of the most difficult times are when we are waiting on our Heavenly Father to reveal what good things He has planned for us. Like a child waiting for Christmas morning, we don’t know what lies ahead in those unwrapped boxes. Sometimes, we spend so much time worrying and struggling with the anticipation of the unknown, that we forget that we can approach those times confidently, just as my sister and I approached the waiting gifts underneath the Christmas tree. Because although we may have to wait to find out what’s in store, we know that our Father desires to bless us and give us good things (Matthew 7:11). We also know that just as my dad plotted and planned for the perfect Christmas unveiling, that God is actively working to bring about His purposes in our life (Romans 8:28; Philippians 1:6) . Waiting then becomes not a time of frustration for the lack of clear direction, but a time of eager anticipation for the good gifts that God has in store. And when we take hold of this, we can wait with confidence knowing that when we unwrap the presents, we’ll find hidden treasures and blessings that we didn’t even know we needed.