Life’s Lessons

Putting the gift to use as intended

It was a day like any other in 1976. When the mail was delivered to my home at the top of Pine Mountain in Kentucky, unexpectedly, a package was part of the delivery. I recognized the handwriting immediately and was eager to open it.

You see, it was from my mom, and came on a day in a season, as I said, “like any other.” It was not near my birthday. It was not Christmas. Now, that is rather redundant since my birthday falls on Christmas Day. So, why a package?

Upon opening the package, I found a carefully ironed and folded pair of pillowcases. In itself, that would have created a question, but as Mom did, she had included a brief note. To the best of my remembrance, it read, “I thought you might like these pillowcases embroidered by your 80-year-old mother.”

Like them? I was thrilled! So thrilled, in fact, that after admiring them for a while, I found a safe storage place for that treasured box. When I moved, it moved with me. When I moved again, it moved with me again. The package made several moves with me and always found a safe storage place in the new living quarters.

But never did I consider actually putting those pillowcases to use! No! You see, I treasured them because my mom in her retirement years had made them specifically for me! My mind set was to always keep them in pristine condition.

Well, finally, after more than 40 years I took them out of the box and placed them in the cupboard with other linens. Notice they were now closer to actually being used, but still really in storage. I even threw the box away.

Was I really honoring my mother’s memory by not using something she made especially for me and wanted me to have? No!

So recently, I took those pillowcases out of the closet and put them on the pillows I use on my bed. Every night I am reminded of that very special gift and I continue to treasure them in nightly use.

I’m sure Mom would be SO pleased! And, at the same time, would “tsk” a bit at how long it took her daughter with normal intelligence to see the light – the gift was best received and treasured by actually using it in its intended purpose.

Some 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ paid the exorbitant price for our salvation by hanging on the cruel cross of Calvary, shedding His blood to redeem us sinners who dwell in a sinful world, we who are unable to reach heaven in any other way but through His shed blood.

But, again, if we leave that gift in the box, keep it in safe storage, move it wherever we will live next, it remains utterly useless. The gift of eternal life must be taken out of the Bible, where it is stored and put to use in our lives for it to be meaningful.

Have you received that gift or are you saving it for another day? Today is the day of salvation. Don’t delay. Accept Jesus into your heart and put His gift to its intended use.

Putting the gift to use as intended