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Open it

a man giving a gift to a woman who is unhappy
Posted February 25, 2019

At the beginning of the new millenium, the portable electronic footspa was manufactured, mass produced, marketed and made available to everyday Kiwi. I wanted one—desperately. I had two children under the age of two, and therefore truly believed I both needed and deserved a footspa!

My birthday was just around the corner, so I made sure my husband was fully briefed on the capacity of the footspa to not only ensure my happiness, but also promote marital harmony—what a helpful wife! My toes were tingling in anticipation, and everything was coming together nicely. Or so I thought.

When the big day arrived and I was presented with the highly anticipated gift, I was immediately alarmed. The weight and shape of the carefully wrapped box was all wrong. It was rectangular like a footspa, but it was way too small. And it was too heavy. It felt suspiciously like a textbook—this was definitely not a footspa!

My face must have said it all because my husband said to me, ‘I know you wanted a footspa, but I thought this would be better.’ Better? What could be better than a footspa? A footspa was what I wanted! A footspa was what I asked for! I was supposed to get a footspa!

I opened the gift and to my horror it was ... a new Bible! The inscription said: To my darling wife, I know this wasn’t on the list, but I know you’ll enjoy it anyway. Happy Birthday, Love Mat xxx.

I would like to report that I received that Bible with grace, but I cannot. Needless to say, because he loves me (not because of the tantrum I threw), the next payday Mat bought me that blessed footspa.

But here’s the thing, I only used that footspa about five times over the next 15 years. But that Bible? Well, it’s been the gift that keeps on giving. I’ve read it and meditated on it, and God has spoken to me through it by his Spirit.

All these years later, I know that the gift I received that day was the gift of a lifetime. It may not have been the gift I wanted, but it was certainly the one I needed. (And yes I have since apologised to Mat.)

The Word of God has continually nourished and sustained my faith, even during seasons of deep depression, sin and wandering, doubt and unbelief. Having found its way into my spirit God’s Word has never left me. Time and again, this ancient book has proven to be the living word of God: timeless, eternal—and not only capable of delivering fresh revelation for these uncertain times, but more than able to comfort—heal and revive my despairing soul.

May God’s Word be a source of light, hope and encouragement for you, just as it has been for me.   So go on and open it—perhaps while enjoying a footspa!

‘The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of God stands forever’ (Isaiah 40:8).

(c) by Jules Badger - 'War Cry' magazine, 23 February 2019 p31. You can read 'War Cry' at your nearest Salvation Army church or centre, or subscribe through Salvationist Resources.