sandy's 8th birthday was coming up and her daddy wanted to surprise her with the best gift he could get for her. he shopped for days to find just the right thing that he thought she would love. he wanted to show her how much that he loved her by getting her a gift that she would love and cherish forever. he shopped and shopped until he decided that there was no gift out there that would ever express his love for her. then one day he found it. he wrote sandy a letter and told her that he was sending her a present and it would come in a big package on her birthday.
sandy was so excited! she could not wait until her birthday would come. and finally it came. she woke up that morning and got dressed in her best dress, brushed her teeth and fixed her hair. then, she went to the front room to wait for her present to come. she waited for awhile until finally there was a knock at the front door. she ran to open it and just as her daddy told her, there was a huge present in front of the door with a beautiful bow and a tag that had her name on it.
she screamed with excitement! then, began to cry. her mommy came to her side to see what was wrong and why she would be crying. sandy was overwhelmed with the emotions of knowing that her daddy loved her so much that he would go out of his way to make sure that she had such an amazingly beautiful gift for her on her birthday when he was so far away. she began to weep more as she realized how much her daddy loved her. her mommy suggested that they open the gift and see what her daddy had sent to her, but sandy couldn't. she just wanted to sit and look at it for awhile. then, she ran to her room and came back with the letters that her daddy had written to her and began to read them. she did not think that she could have ever felt more loved than she did right then. she thought that reading her daddy's love letters to her and seeing the gift that he had sent to her on her birthday was the best gift ever. she loved him so much!
after a little while, her mommy suggested that she open the present. "your daddy did not send you this present for it to sit here forever sandy," her mom said to her. "the gift is not the package but what is inside of it." sandy was so enjoying the package, she was hesitant to tear into it. but with a little more coaxing from her mommy, she decided to open it. she carefully unwrapped the box and realized that it had a latch on the side of the box. she unlatched and opened it, then peeked inside. as she did, she saw her daddy sitting there with the biggest smile on his face and his arms open wide. there was a sign around his neck that said "happy birthday sandy. i am home forever! sandy couldn't believe it! she jumped into his arms and squealed with excitement! it's you! it's you! my present is you!
her daddy gathered her into his arms and held her tight. her mommy was crying as she watched such a beautiful, loving moment. they stood up together and went inside to enjoy sandy's birthday together. sandy and her daddy laughed and played together all day. sandy couldn't ever remember being happier than she was that day.
as the day was coming to an end, it was time for sandy to get ready for bed. she got her pajamas on and brushed her teeth. then, she went to get her letters from her daddy that she read every night before she went to bed. she took them to her daddy and said, "daddy, i usually read one of these every night before i go to bed. but you are home and i am so happy. now, would you take these letters and pick one to read to me every night before i go to bed? i love these letters and i never want to lose them. but, having you here with me, saying the words to me, is so much better." he smiled at her and said, "there is nothing that would make me happier than to share my words of love with you. it would make me really sad if i came home to be with you and you kept reading my letters each night instead of letting me be a part of the love that we share together. i am home now! i am here forever! i never want to be on the sidelines in your life again. i want to be a part of everything that you do! you and me! together! forever! "
as i think about this story, i am made to realize that the relationship with God that was given to us on the day that Jesus was born was a lot like the gift that was given to the little girl in this story on her birthday. God wrapped Himself up and knocked on our hearts door to give up the greatest gift ever, Himself! He came to share our lives with us forever! He does not want to be on the sidelines. He wants to be right in the middle of everything that we do, sharing every minute of every day with us. sometimes, i think we get distracted with life and leave our Gift out, thinking that He is more concerned with watching our lives, expecting us to perform for Him in some way or another, rather than sharing it with us. He is not looking to observe our behavior from afar, watching us attempt to do His work and only read the Word that He has written to us. but, He longs to do His work with us and speak Words directly to us everyday, expressing His love and sharing His heart toward us telling us over and over again, "you and Me! together! forever!"