Late last night I prepared to wrap a birthday present for my son, today is his 12th birthday. The box was fairly large and I quickly realized I didn’t have enough paper to adequately cover it. I also knew that I was out of options.
I wanted this gift to look inviting and speak the truth of my great love for him. A plain old cardboard box was not going to convey what was in my heart. I started talking to God about my problem. I realized that my life often feels like this—in a million ways I don’t think I have enough to conquer what lies in front of me. Time, resources, wisdom; I often struggle to see the abundance, but I have no trouble feeling the lack.
As I sat on my bedroom floor, Jesus began speaking to my heart. He reminded me of the day he fed thousands with just 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. One young boy came to him and offered everything he had. To many, it wouldn’t have looked like the substance of a gift, but it was more than an ordinary offering. The contents of a simple basket met the extraordinary abundance of One who came to fill hearts, not just stomachs. I felt Jesus whisper that he would do the same for me. My mind started to process the promise- “I will make something out of your nothing.” My heart felt lighter immediately. A smile spread across my face and excitement pulsed through my veins. Ok, show me how I can wrap this gift. The answer was simple—I took the scraps of collected paper and wove them over the box like a patchwork quilt. Then I found a “Happy Birthday” banner and wrapped it around the box, finishing it off with some smiley-face stickers and ribbon.
This was something out of nothing. It happened, and I thought it looked fun, albeit a bit unusual. I’ve never wrapped a gift this way before. I prefer perfectly creased edges, coordinating ribbon and precisely placed strips of tape. This was different; it was spontaneous creativity where I felt empty and frustrated.
My heart felt hope in new ways as I looked at my son’s gift. Jesus will help me do this over and over again, but I need to allow him access to my life. I must surrender myself to a quiet place where I patiently wait on his wisdom. He specializes in pulling something from nothing. I don’t doubt that it may look unusual, even a bit messy to my systematical eye. My perspective has shifted though; this is a promise, not just a challenge, and I welcome him.
Do you have places of “nothingness” in your life? Are there areas where you’re empty but life demands you have something to give? Join with me in asking Jesus to show you how he intends to make something from nothing. I know he won’t let you down. Instead, he will lift you up, change your perspective and fill you with great hope! I promise, he is not finished with this situation, or you, yet.