When I was six years old, I received what I considered the greatest present ever: a beautiful dollhouse. But not just any dollhouse … this dollhouse was a one of a kind. My father spent months building it by hand in our garage to be a surprise for Christmas. And judging by the wonderful details, Dad didn’t take any shortcuts.
A Treasured Gift
I’ll never forget the different colored felt made to resemble carpeting in each room. The clear plastic windows that looked like glass. A wooden bed with tiny pillows. Even the exterior was covered in wallpaper made to look like brick siding. It seemed Dad thought of everything … well, almost everything. Apparently he didn’t think to measure the height of my Barbie doll. She fit on the bed up to her calves and had to hunch over to walk around her new home.
Yet, if the truth be told, it didn’t bother me one bit. I loved every inch of it and played with it for years … until one day my parents explained we would be moving—and not just to another neighborhood or another state—but to another country. I cried for days when I learned my precious dollhouse would be given to the little girl down the street. “We simply can’t take it with us … besides, you’re a lot older now.” Nothing they said could calm my broken heart.
A Labor of Love
To this day, I still treasure the memory of that dollhouse. Not because it was beautiful, or for all of the hours I enjoyed playing with it. Rather, I treasure the gift for one reason. My father made it just for me. I was on his mind when he conceived of the idea. It was me he was thinking of when he purchased the supplies. And the image of me playing with it caused him to sacrifice his precious little free time in order to build it.
Truly, he could have bought a pre-made plastic dollhouse from the toy store. I would have played with it just the same. Yet for some reason, that one Christmas, my Dad chose not to take any shortcuts. It was a true labor of love … and that’s what makes it so special. Perhaps you remember receiving a special gift. One that you treasured long after its inherent value had faded. This is where the saying, “it was the thought that counts”… well, really counts!
The World’s Greatest Gift
When we consider the greatest gift the world has ever seen—the gift of God’s Son—the worth, if you will, of the gift cannot be measured by what our finite minds can fathom to do with such a gift. Rather, the worth of the gift is measured by the depth of the love of the One who made such a sacrifice to give it. And like my Dad building that dollhouse, God did not take any shortcuts. When Jesus came into our world, He did not arrive as a full grown man, or a child, or even a newborn. Jesus entered our world as a fertilized egg in a young woman’s womb, experiencing all of the wonders of life—just as we do.The worth of a gift is measured by the depth of sacrifice. Click To Tweet
“‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us).” (Matthew 1:23 ESV)
It was you who was on the Father’s mind when He conceived of His plan, “This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time …” (2 Timothy 1:9 NIV)
And it was for you whom the Christ child was born, “For unto you is born this day … a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11 ESV)
You were on Jesus’s mind as He poured out His life on the Cross, “for the joy that was set before him, [he] endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2 ESV).
What a glorious gift! “GOD with us.”
“In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” – John 14:2-3 ESV