My husband and I play a game around birthdays, Christmas, or any other gift-giving occasion. It goes like this, “So, what’d you get me?”

Sometimes the phrase is said once in passing, and sometimes repeated in rapid succession to wear the giver down to reveal a clue.

On this December morning, I had a delightful quiet time with my Lord. I wrapped up my reading and praying, and was preparing to close my journal when I heard . . .

“So, what’d you get me?”

I paused and listened to the voice––but it wasn’t my husband’s. It was my other beloved’s voice—Jesus!

I tuned in and heard, “It’s my birthday soon, you know. I’ve seen the gifts you’ve gotten for everyone else. What’d you get for me?”

When I told my husband, he said, “Isn’t that just like God to speak to us in our own game and language?”

For the rest of that day, and days thereafter, I pondered what I would give Jesus for his birthday. I asked myself, had I even planned to give Him anything? If I hadn’t, why not? And if I was, time was running out, I had better decide quickly.

What do you get the King of the Universe, who owns everything and can create anything out of nothing?

The only response I could think of was, “to obey is better than sacrifice.”

Jesus was asking for more of me. All of me, in fact. No need to figure out the hottest gift to give Him but just do it! Gift wrap is unnecessary, only a humble and contrite heart.

Happy Birthday, Jesus. I choose again today to surrender myself and obey what you have already shown me.

But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.”   I Samuel 15:22 NIV