It takes a strong and mature person to joyfully and thankfully receive a Christmas gift they didn’t want. It takes an even stronger, more mature person to receive the perfect gift that has an imperfection.
You know what I’m talking about. It’s the gift you wanted, exactly what you wanted, in fact…except it’s got a slight stain. Or a tiny crack. Or anything that makes the perfect gift slightly less than perfect.
Growing up, I had a mild case of OCD and a severe case of being a spoiled brat. If anything was amiss with one of my gifts, I would be crestfallen, preferring no gift to a damaged one.
Sadly, I’ve often imagined the God is just like me. He wants the hearts of men and women, the capstone of His creation, to be offered to Him as a gift, free of obligation, but He’s disappointed to find imperfect, broken hearts being offered instead of perfect, whole ones.
He only accepts the perfect; He has no room for project-people under His tree.
But I was wrong!
Unbelievably wrong. Epically wrong. I could not have been more wrong.
God delights to pick up the discarded, to repair the broken. Though He grieves over imperfection He sees in us, His grief is not for His loss but ours, not for His inconvenience but for pain.
Our God is one who “raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap.”1
Jesus wasn’t compelled to come and die for the perfect; He chose to die for the imperfect.
The Father doesn’t wait by the roadside to greet the righteous; He is eager to come running when He sees the prodigals on the horizon.2
Give yourself to Jesus; He wants you as you are. He loves you as you are.
He loves you as you are, but He love you too much to leave in this broken state. Through His love and grace, He will bring about a restoration within us, making us perfect, making us into the person we were always meant to be.
Are you feeling broken and unloved? Are you feeling overwhelmed by your own imperfections and all that you feel like you must do to receive His love? Stop. Look to Him as you are and receive the love that is offered without condition.
He Giveth More Grace by Annie Johnson Flint
He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.
We give Him our broken selves; He gives us Jesus.
We give Him our struggles and sin; He gives us grace. He will always out give us, so long as we give Him ourselves.
God welcomes the imperfect gift; He welcomes you.
[Thanks Unsplash/David Everett Strickler]