Sometimes when we pray we think we need to do things to earn God’s favor.  While nothing can ever stop the Father from caring for and loving you, nothing you can ever do can qualify you for that love.

“I’m absolutely convinced that nothing – nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable – absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the wat the Jesus our Master has embraced us.”  Romans 8:38 (The Message)

September offers me the opportunity to remember my cousin Nancy with a birthday present. Nancy my hero growing up, still holds that title.  She’s practically perfect, though she would disagree.  That, of course, makes her more so.  She’s funny, poised, graceful, disciplined, beautiful and brave, and deeply committed to Christ. And. she  thinks I am wonderful — which is, of course,  what frosts the donut.

Each year I send her the same thing: a gift certificate to one of her favorite stores.  And each year I spend time wondering how to present it:  I can wrap it up in velvet but then it will just get squished in mailing.  I can put it in a large box, but then I have to pay extra postage.  I can tie it up in a beautiful package with large bow — but then you have the squishing issue and extra postage.   While presentation is important,  it doesn’t really matter.  Because, regardless of how she gets it, the fluff that surrounds the gift is just that: fluff.  The actual gift is in the power of the gift card.

Your  songs and memory verses are integral parts of a strong spiritual life.  But the power — the ‘Neosporin for the Soul’ is actually is in the Gift. We struggle to add fluffy stories, fluffy hymns, fluffy concerts and experiences to compel us to open the gift.  But the power isn’t in the fluff —  The power is in the Gift.

While nothing can ever stop the Father from caring for and loving you, nothing you can ever do can qualify you for that love. Don’t get sidetracked in fluff, which will never sustain you through sickness.    Regardless of your inner strength,  your circumstances and  feelings,  your external or internal circumstances, His love for you is the same yesterday, today and forever.  God is enough.

When you pray, pray from your heart.   Don’t weigh your words or try to impress with an abundance of syllablic slather.     When you read, lean on His Words.  When you sing praises, loud and often.  Offer your best.  And remember, if you fail to ‘fluff the presentation’  it’s okay.

Fluff fades;  The Gift remains.

. . . and people – and God – see through the fluff:


copyright Judi Collins 2011; Used by permission from her devotional “The Fluff”