Christmas memories can be the richest upon which to reminisce, especially when those fond remembrances revolve around children. Some of my favorite Christmas moments were spent at a local nursery choosing the perfect tree for our holiday celebration. Armed with hyperactive kiddos, we would trek to the nursery early on a Saturday morning, make our selection, and then notify the owner of our choice. After tagging our tree, we would return home and give the crew a week to dig up the tree and ball the roots. The following weekend we would return to take that special tree home. On New Year’s Day, after all of our Christmas festivities were over, Dad and the kids would don their warmest winter clothing, brave the elements, and plant that tree in a pre-dug hole in the back yard, where they remain to this day.
Our children took turns selecting the trees, and they were, for the most part, outlandishly picky when rounding down to the final choice, searching every branch of every tree for HOURS, on the lookout for perfection. But we did have one unique child, one who seemed bent on selecting a Charlie Brown tree that was in desperate need of a home, one that no one else could possibly want. I smile as I walk through the backyard, still able to pick out those misshapen beauties selected by a boy with one big heart.
Jacob, who had labored for his Uncle Laban for years, marrying his two daughters, and gifting Laban with many grandchildren, was intent on returning home to Canaan, his promised land. But Laban was determined to keep Jacob from leaving, offering his son-in-law this suggestion: “Appoint me thy wages, and I will give it…What shall I give thee?” Whatever you want, it’s yours, just stay. Although his choice was limitless, Jacob’s reply stuns me and tugs at my heart, “Give me the speckled and spotted among the cattle,” and “among the goats,” and “among the sheep.” Give me the marked and marred, the misfits, the rejects, those far below the threshold of perfection. I will separate them from among your herds, I will satisfy them “in the watering troughs,” and they shall multiply and increase “exceedingly.” Give me the marred and unwanted, “of such is my hire.”
Is that not a chilling picture of what Christ does for us, for He also chooses the “foolish…the weak…the base.” He takes those marked and marred, those “guilty before God,” those who have nothing in themselves to offer, and this “lamb without blemish and without spot,” Who paid our sin debt with His “precious blood,” separates us unto Himself. He offers these “speckled and spotted” His salvation, accepts these wandering sheep into His fold, and satisfies them with the water of His Word. And He then encourages us to multiply and increase “exceedingly.” I’m so humbled that God strolled through that forest of trees and selected this misshapen sinner to purchase for His own. And someday soon, He will return to take me home. Amazing Grace?
I Corinthians 1:26-28 For ye see your calling, brethren, how not many wise men…are called: But God hath chosen the…base things of the world, and things which are despised…and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
Thank You, Lord, that You came to earth that first Christmas to love the unlovable, to choose the least worthy, to save anyone who can trust You in childlike faith. You grace is overwhelming to me.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-1133-6283ffdd03640' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=1133&origin=grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-1133-6283ffdd03640' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-1133-6283ffdd03640' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>