Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,
and comes down from the Father of lights,
with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
~ James 1:17 ~
I went to a Christmas party with my sister. I brought only myself because it was a last minute decision; it was awkward not having a gift for the hosts or the white elephant exchange. Nonetheless, I was warmly and lovingly welcomed, proving that the body of Christ is truly a family of believers.
I made many new friends and had wonderful conversations. I met a couple from a far-away land and had an engaging conversation on designing 3-D video images and human anatomy. In talking with another couple we found a common link through a pastor we both love; also, our life situations are almost parallel. Finally, I had the pleasure of talking with someone who had attended my sister’s wedding!
While participating in games I received gifts! I told my sister, “I came empty handed, but I’m leaving with gifts!”
The first game brought a gift of a Christmas mug, a reminder from the Lord that He provides what I need to sustain me each day.
The second game brought the gift of a one dollar bill, a reminder that He will supply all my financial needs.
The Lord had one more gift in mind; I was encouraged to participate in the white elephant gift exchange—someone brought extra gifts! When my turn came I chose a blow up football post/soda cooler, which one of the teenage boys wanted and got. I was able to pick up another gift, an Anaheim Ducks snuggly blanket which my daughter is now using.
The snuggly blanket gift is a reminder that I am not alone, and that He will keep me warm as He holds me and takes me through the storms of life.
As I reflected on the joyous conversations going on around me, the “I came empty handed, but I’m leaving with gifts!” statement, evolved to, “We come to Him empty-handed, but He gives us gifts: True abundant life, the Holy Spirit, His daily presence, love, family, and myriad other gifts!”
The best gift we can give to another is Jesus; and Christmas, when so many are hurting and lonelier, and are more receptive to Him, is a good time to give Him to others. Do not hesitate, for He has promised in Isaiah 55:10-11,
“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
May He bless each and every word of love and care you speak to another as you share about Him.
Dear Father, there truly is no better gift than the one You gave us long ago, Your Son, Jesus. May our hearts truly rejoice and our lives reflect the joy of knowing You and being Your children as we share the good news of Jesus Christ with all we meet. In Jesus’ name, amen.