“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”Ephesians 3:20-21
I come from a family of seven. I fall number four in the lineup of five children. We were a lively bunch, and sometimes it was hard being heard above the fray. One of the family trademarks was humor. We added a touch of humor to every event and every holiday. And the practical jokes abounded among us. I remember Mom telling me one time that I needed to start having fun and get over my sensitivity if I was going to make it in this world.
One December, the time came to announce our most important “need” on our lengthy Christmas lists. I remember it well. As a third grader, I was ready to be grown up and take on the world. The only way that could be done was obvious. I asked for a real watch with a gold metal band. No one my age had a real watch with a gold metal band (you know the kind that turns your wrist green after wearing it a few weeks). This would certainly propel me into adulthood, and everyone would stop and listen when I spoke. With every passing December day, I mentioned that watch to Mom and Dad, to my older sisters in case they had a vote, and I prayed. I prayed that Jesus would gift me with that watch even though I knew I didn’t deserve it. I prayed that He would help Mom and Dad to remember when they went shopping.
And finally, the day came. Christmas morning! All five of us crowded around the tree and sat on our hands to keep from digging in. I searched for the right size gift and tore it open, anxious to see my new grown up watch. And there it was! But wait… a gold metal watchband, but no watch! I looked up at Mom and Dad, forcing a smile and wondering what had happened. Mom said, “Honey, this year you get the watchband and next year you get the watch.” Talk about disappointment! The next several minutes were spent watching my older sisters get new watches complete with watch and gold metal watchband. I fought back tears and tried not to be too sensitive.
As opening packages begin to wind down, my sister found a tiny box at the back of the tree. It had my name on it! And you guessed it, the practical joke was on me! There in that tiny box was the most beautiful watch I had ever seen. The only problem was that it had a black cord band not a gold metal band, and my parents had bought the metal band to meet my particular expectation. What if I had walked away from the tree not waiting on the last gift to be opened? What if I had allowed my emotions to keep me from realizing the true gift?
I remember this story every time I read Ephesians 3:20-21. I think about the disappointment turned to utter joy of a little nine-year-old girl that day. I wonder if that is the way we will feel when we see the extent of Jesus’ gift to us. I truly believe that we will not only see what we wanted, but we will receive so much more than we could have ever imagined. “…to Him be the glory for ever and ever!”