A wife once gave her husband a gift. It was a large 1000 piece jig saw puzzle that had taken her months of back aches and strained eyes to complete. She was proud of her accomplishment and she thought for sure he would appreciate it. Each time she saw the completed work, she stepped back in amazement at the dedication and commitment with which she had worked hard at it.
On many occasions, she had entertained the thought of giving up on the project; pieces had started looking too alike and colors of the sky no longer showed any variance. As she neared the end, remnants were no longer dissimilar, the uniqueness of each piece was gone, and it seemed her last hope was to pick each piece and try to fit it in the next spot to be filled. With patient frustration, she trudged along on this hopeless journey, her only source of strength was the image of his appreciation and ecstasy at the receipt of such a wonderful gift of love and sacrifice. How she imagined that he would treasure such a gift that had cost her so much; many a sleepless night and tired mornings, until the day came, when she put the last piece in its right majestic spot, and the 1000th piece found its home. Oh, what joy and fulfillment filled her heart! Her beloved was gonna love it!
The day came, and she presented the gift to him, he had no idea what she had been working on, and oh my, did he love it; he was filled with genuine gratitude and awe. He promised to frame it, and hang it on the choice wall in their cozy little house, wanting to show it off to the world. “See, what a beautiful gift of love and sacrifice my beloved has MADE for me, oh no, she did NOT BUY it.” Tomorrow, I shall frame it beautifully, he thought, so he slid it under their bed, to protect it, then he hid it behind the couch in the living room, and tomorrow turned into days and days turned into weeks and weeks into months, months into years; and from their little house to a bigger and nicer one, nothing was ever done about the puzzle, at this point, pieces had been lost, the picture puzzle had gathered much dust, and what was once a majestic picture looked like a pathetic piece of work begging to be salvaged. Every piece lost felt like a piece of her that was not cherished but lost and gone forever.
And every so often, she asked him about it, and pestered him to do something about it, until he started feeling he was being nagged. And one day, he said to her, “It is my gift, isn’t it? Am I not allowed to do with it as I please?”
I am sure you have all enjoyed this story but there is a bigger picture to be seen here. As we reflect on the Holiday Christmas season, and we are reminded that Jesus is the reason for the season; the one and ultimate gift of love and sacrifice to us from God, we implore you to consider the gift of God in your spouse. We ask that you stop and look at him or her, and see the reflection of God in them; we encourage you to stop amidst all the frenzy and appreciate the piece of God that He deposited in your spouse just to bless you. It is easy to put off cherishing your spouse, it is easy to put off celebrating, and admiring and loving them, and even easier to not appreciate the gift giver who gave so much to you when He put every piece of your spouse together to form a beautiful picture to adorn your life.
So we ask of you: where is your puzzle? Is she hidden away somewhere gathering dust, under all of the pressures of life or is he tucked away somewhere “safe “ at the bottom of your to do’s with the promises of getting to him tomorrow? Have you celebrated the gift giver for His wonderful gift to you? He gave you His son to die for you, and He also gave you your beloved so that you can share and cherish and enjoy together the life for which you were ransomed. Therefore, celebrate that great gift in your life today; thought frail and full of weaknesses and imperfections, he/she is the embodiment of God’s love and thoughtfulness toward you.