Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Saving the Best till Last - A Lesson from a Broken Gift

A large box was delivered by UPS for me. I have never gotten so many gifts as when I was diagnosed with cancer. There was no note or return address to indicate who had sent me the box. Deciding it was probably not a bomb, I opened it.

Six exquisite Waterford Crystal wine glasses! Three were smashed to smithereens. What could I do now? There was no name on the box, and no obvious way to find who had sent them, and where they had been made. Fortunately, after tunneling through mounds of packing peanuts, I found the packing slip with the name of the company that sent the glasses and called them. Instantly, they shipped out three more glasses, no questions asked!

Who bought me this incredible gift? I had my suspects. Ever since the radiologist agreed with me that red wine is good in fighting cancer, a few people have been very interested in persuading me to get fine red wine. Thus far, I am still only a cheap boxed red wine kinda gal, and truth be told, I do not own a single wine glass. I use pretty cranberry-red juice glasses for my boxed wine.

Anyway, I knew the glasses came from one of a small list of potential suspects: the radiologist, my sister Amy, or my son and his crafty wife. I was betting on the son and wife. Of all of my family, they are the only ones that could probably have a hope of claiming grace, taste, and class. The radiologist probably owned Waterford crystal himself...but I'd only met him once. I doubt he sent wine glasses to his cancer patients, so that was not a realistic suspect.

Then, upon examining the order slip, I spied my son's email. I don't own anything as fine as Waterford crystal glasses, even smashed ones. I felt like crying as I held the beautiful glass. I quickly texted my dear son and daughter-in-law to thank them. They told me if I was going to be drinking fine red wine, I needed glasses that would show off the beauty of the wine.

I'd run a lot of errands yesterday that I'd put off because I didn't feel up to it. Afterwards, I was aching all over. Driving hurts the poor mastectomied breast and arm. I collapsed on the couch, and remembered, "Oh. I have Waterford Crystal wine glasses!"

Sometimes, those little pick-me-ups in life are all it takes to turn a wearying day on its hinge. As I sipped my (boxed) wine in my fine Waterford Crystal glass, I thought of Jesus' first miracle. He turned the water into wine. A bridal party had run out of wine, and Jesus decided to help out. In typical festivities, the best wine comes out first, and then as the guests get drunk, the equivalent of boxed wine is served since no one is coherent enough to know the difference. But when Jesus transforms the wine, it is the best wine. (Naturally...made personally by God, how could it not be?) The best wine, saved for the end.

I thought about the symbolism of that. Look at what we have to look forward to! A lot of life is really wonderful, but Jesus has saved the best till last. Nothing we experience now will hold a candle to what awaits us in Heaven "when faith will be sight".

Now don't miss this. If those three beautiful glasses had not been broken, I would not have looked for the deeply hidden packing slip, which told me the source of this lovely gift. The shattered glasses propelled me to find their Maker, knowing only the Creator of the glasses could restore them. How gracious that three arrived intact, so I had a sense of what could be, what perfection looked like.

Are you getting chills over the message God sent me? Folks, we are all shattered glasses, created and molded to be exquisitely beautiful. However, the journey we travel invariably breaks us. We have no hope of restoration unless we cry out and return to our Maker. Sometimes we have to work hard at finding Him, but don't stop looking. He is there and He alone can make all things new. He reminds me that when He fills us with the new wine, it will be the best.

That's what I thought about, as my recuperating body ached, and I sipped the wine in my beautiful Waterford Crystal wine glass.

John 2:1-11

On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.[a] Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.

Isaiah 65: 17-19
“For behold, I create new heavens
    and a new earth,
and the former things shall not be remembered
    or come into mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice forever
    in that which I create;
for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy,
    and her people to be a gladness.
19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem
    and be glad in my people;
no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping
    and the cry of distress.

1 comment:

  1. We are blessed with your wonderful insight and faith. How blessed are you to have your amazing son and daughter-in-law! Thank you for sharing your heart. Continued prayers. God Bless.