Why would God strip us? Or, why would God allow us to be stripped? If we are to love and serve Him, how can we do so without all the trappings, attachments, possessions, successes, and more that we carry with us through our lives? What can we give without this? I can only imagine my loved one right now must be wondering how he can give. One of the things he was most grateful to have is now gone, and he stands at the beginning. He is starting all over again. So how can he give? What can he give?
My loved one and I are a lot alike, in some ways anyway. We both love to give. We love to serve. We love to share. So how could I give a few years ago when I had been stripped of just about everything it seemed?And what could my loved one possibly give now, as he stands naked before God?
My loved one has shared with me time and again a statement from a book he likes to study about how our past, or our experience, is an asset when placed in God’s hands. But do you know something? I used to think the best I had to give is what I possessed, including the experience I had from my past. But no longer do I think this is my best gift to give.
The very best gift to give becomes the most obvious when I have been stripped of just about everything else. The very best gift I have to give is not the gifts I have been given by Him, nor is it the experience I have had as I have learned to walk with Him.
The very best gift I have to give is Jesus Christ. And, when I stand naked, stripped of all my outerwear, then I realize He is the very best. The best gift to give.
My loved one cannot stand right now in front of rooms full of people as he used to do and share with them how many years he has reaped the rewards of the success God gave him in a certain area of his life. It is humbling, as I know, when I can no longer shout from the rooftops how I have achieved something – even when I am willing to give all the glory to God.
What can I give instead? Instead, I can give Jesus. And then I realize this should not be an “instead” at all. It should not be the consolation price I have, and give, because it is all I have left in my nakedness. This should have been all along the very best gift I realized I had to give. But I did not realize this, not until I stood naked. And not, truthfully, until I started moving forward down the road and looked back in retrospect.
Today, I know. I realize. And when I look at my loved one as he stands naked before God, I am reminded of this lesson I must not forget.
Jesus is the best. The best gift ever given to the world, and the best gift I can possibly pass on. Even, and especially, in my nakedness, I am more aware than ever of the gift I carry in my heart – and of the gift I have to give.