Five Tubes of Paint

I was so young, my gift list so small.  All I wanted for Christmas was the paint set I drooled over in the hobby shop window–– the one with thirty-two tubes of paint in a beautiful oak box with shiny brass latches.  I was convinced that with those oils I could be a real artist.

I promised Santa I’d be good all year if only I could get those paints.

The magic morning finally arrived, and I quickly opened all my gifts, except one.  To my dismay it was a little box, much too small for thirty-two tubes of paint.

I slowly removed the wrapping paper to discover a Christmas card box.  I lifted the lid, and all that was there were five, big, fat, ugly tubes of paint.  I was heart broken with disappointment. That’s when my mother held me real tight.  As she wiped my tears she said, “I’m sorry I couldn’t get you what you wanted, but I did get you what you what you needed.”

Quickly she squeezed the paints onto a pallet and unwrapped the miracle of color.  I squealed with delight when blue and yellow became green.  Red and yellow became orange.

I’m an artist today because from five tubes of paint and a mother’s love I got the greatest art lesson ever:  I learned to see and love color.

Long ago the world asked for a King, and God gave the world a Savior–– a baby in a tiny box. Often God’s greatest gifts come in small packages.

Sometimes God does not give us what we want but lovingly gives us what we need.