Rev. Hast

The lesson of the empty box is the best gift of all

Published Dec 23, 2017 at 4:00pm

Toys, socks, and crumpled paper covered the living room floor. The presents had all be unwrapped, except one. The little boy hurriedly grabbed the box and ripped off the brightly colored paper.

He pulled open the top and looked in. The box was empty, or was it? It was the best present of all!

The boy moved the oxygen tank, so he could look at his father. His dad with tears flowing down his checks had the biggest smile on his face. “Son, the doctor said you are a good candidate for the operation. This time next year you will not need the oxygen tank anymore.”  

The box was not empty; it contained air — free air, life giving air. Air that symbolized fields that would be ran in, sports that would be played, and many birthday candles that would be blown out. It was new life. Life that could be lived in abundance.

Christmas is a wonderful time. It is good to give and received gifts with family and friends. It is wonderful to see all the decorations and hear the familiar songs. Rudolf’s nose is so bright!

It is so heartwarming to see a little child opening presents under a tree. But in the excitement, don’t ignore the seemingly empty boxes. They can be the best presents of all.

If we are always looking for the fancy, big boxes, we may not even see the small blessings that make all the difference. Thank God every day, not just holidays.

Take a deep breath. Fill your lungs with that life-giving air and know God will give you another and another. Thank Him for people He puts in your life that give it variety and personality. Thank Him even for the challenges, which are gifts that help you grow stronger. It is the empty boxes and tiny gifts that give life its abundance.

If we are always focused on giving the fancy, big boxes, we may miss giving the small things that truly make a difference. A smile or an encouraging word given at the right time can make all the difference in another’s life. A helping hand that costs us almost nothing can make a huge difference in another’s Christmas.  

I do hope your tree will be surrounded by many different sizes and kinds of presents. But I also hope you receive and give those seemingly empty boxes. Then it will truly be a Merry Christmas!