What is the most unusual present you’ve ever received?
It was my birthday last week and I got some lovely traditional gifts.
Lots of cards.
Bouquets of flowers.
Boxes of chocolate.
New mini blinds.
You’re probably thinking I’m going to rant about
how to be grateful when you get
mini-blinds or a vacuum cleaner for your birthday.
That will have to wait for another post.
The unusual present I’m going to talk about
is the one I gave to Adventure Boy (Craig) on his 40th birthday.
I got the idea for it on a visit to see his mom and stepdad.
As part of the trip, we went to the cemetery where Craig’s dad was buried.
We stood over a double marker with both his mom and dad’s names on it.
“Mom will be buried next to my dad,” he explained
pointing to the blank space on the marker that would exhibit the year of his mom’s death.
“Isn’t that weird, though?” I asked.
“Your dad’s been dead for over twenty years and your mom’s been married to Bob for ten.”
“Nope, that’s what they want. Bob will be buried next to his first wife over there,” he said, pointing across the cemetery lawn.
“They will be together forever with the spouse of their youth.”
Touched, I said, “We should be buried together like that,
with both our names on a bronze headstone.”
His eyes welled with tears.
“You’d do that?” he whispered.
“I love you! Let’s check it out,” I said.
For Craig’s next birthday, I ordered a marker with our names on it.
Our wedding date was entwined in two wedding bands.
“Together Forever” was embossed below it.
We hadn’t bought cemetery plots,
so I had it delivered and set in the front yard.
Craig was beyond moved—he was speechless.
He said it was the best present anyone had ever given him.
A year later,
when Craig was missing,
I spend a lot of time staring out the front window,
looking at the grave marker in my yard,
praying I wouldn’t need to use it yet.
After his body was found at the crash site,
I brought him home and
buried him under our marker
in the cemetery across the street from my house.
The anniversary of Adventure Boy’s (Craig) death falls within weeks of my birthday.
It’s bittersweet, that as I celebrate another year,
I remember that his life was cut short.
I remember that time is short for all of us.
You never know if today is your last.
No one I buried thought their last day was their last day.
Today, I have to ask,
if today is your last day,
and you find yourself at the pearly gates
facing your Maker,
do you know you are getting in?
The Bible says that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Romans 10:13 (NIV)
Do you have a relationship with God the Father
through Jesus Christ, his Son?
Do you know Jesus as your Savior?
If not, today is the day for you, Girlfriend.
The Bible says if you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord,
you will be saved. Romans 10:9 NIV
Don’t overthink it or make it complicated.
If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior,
you can enter into a relationship with him right now.
Salvation is the best present God offers you and
the best present you can give yourself.
You can use this little prayer or one of your own to
ask God into your life and heart
so that you know your eternity is secure.
Dear Lord Jesus, come into my heart. I believe you died for me, paying the penalty for my sins and rose from the dead after being in the grave for three days. I receive your forgiveness of my sins. Wash me and cleanse me. Fill me with the Holy Spirit. Lead me, guide me, comfort me and teach me the ways of your Bible so that I might have a life that works and the courage to proclaim you. Now and eternally. Amen.