I am just going to get right to the point here. I am not a huge fan of giving gifts. However, if I am going to get a gift for someone, I love finding them the perfect gift. Like LOVE! It gives me joy.
A few weeks ago, knowing a dear friends favorite verse about a deer, I felt like God wanted me to get her a deer ornament. But it couldn’t be just any deer ornament. It had to be the perfect one.
So I looked for hours, at many different stores to find the perfect ornament. Do you know how hard it is to find a deer ornament? However, eventually I found the perfect one at a store online (I won’t tell you which one, because of what happened, but it’s a reputable store).
I wanted to give it to my friend at the beginning of the Christmas season as a symbol for the season, however when the deer came in, although it was as beautiful as I had hoped, it was broken. The antlers, and one of ears had broken off in the shopping process.
So I called the store, and they told me they would send out a new one. Days went by and the new deer didn’t come in. When I called, they said the exchange hadn’t been processed yet and it could take 3 weeks for it to come in. So we decided they would give me a refund, and that I would just order a new deer, because it would come in faster that way.
At this point I wanted to give my friend the deer because of it’s meaning, so I krazy glued the deer together (somehow it looked pretty close to perfect), gave it to her as I told her the story, and why I wanted her to have it now, and that the new deer would be coming soon. And somehow even the broken deer she loved.
“For no word from God will ever fail.” Luke 1:37
So a week goes by and finally the new deer comes in. For some reason the UPS guy through the box over our fence, and when I opened it, I saw that the deer had been thrown in the box, the antlers were in 3 pieces, and one of its legs was broken, another leg was sticking out the side of the box. Friends, I can’t make this stuff up.
I mean two broken deer? Really? Normally I wouldn’t care so much, but this was different. I wanted my friend to have her perfect deer.
So I called the store again and again I was told it could be another 3 weeks until I got a new deer. I was a bit discouraged, and there wasn’t a store in “reasonable” driving distance, so again I asked for another refund and again ordered a new one, hoping the third time would be a charm .
I will be honest, after two broken deers, my hopes weren’t very high. I was so upset. My friend didn’t deserve a broken gift. She deserved it whole, and beautifully perfect.
And then the next morning came…
And a shipment that I wasn’t expecting came. It was the original exchange, that the company had cancelled, but not.
The deer was perfect. No broken antlers or ears, no broken leg. Perfect. Finally. I wanted to cry.
This story may not seem like a big deal, but isn’t that how our God works? Working behind the scenes unbeknownst to us, and doing the unexpected.
The gift was for my friend, but I got a gift myself. Besides each of us now having a broken deer and a perfect one, I was reminded of the truth that He is the God of the unexpected. And we shouldn’t expect anything less from Him.
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
Over the past few months, like Mary, I have questioned God’s word and truth. Moreso than I would like to admit. But yet, in the questioning, the truth that He does the unexpected has played out in our families lives over and over. Things that are seemingly broken, and God moving behind the scenes for our good. God making the impossible reality. Him always proving to us that when we are following Him, we need not worry or fear because He is working behind the scenes for our good.
And what seems to be broken brings unexpected blessings. Like the promised King, who was brought into this world in an unexpected way. Jesus didn’t come into this world broken. He came into a broken world.
Being born in a manger, and then leaving this world hanging on a cross. Not exactly a birth and death fit for a king, but done so all would know the unexpected love of the Father. The love of a Father that will always be more than we could ever ask or imagine. The love of a Father that will always leave those who love Him beholding, standing in awe of all He is, because He came, and because He is coming again.
This Christmas may feel broken, not like you hoped, and like nothing is going your way. My prayer is that the gifts you receive this Christmas be more than what is wrapped underneath the tree. May it be filled with unexpected blessings from a good Father. And although we may not see it yet, may we always remember that when we are praying, He is moving in the most unexpected of ways.