In all transparency, I really struggle this time of year. I want to make my kids Christmas special; I want to stay on budget, I want to get the best deals, and I want to focus on creating memories over giving physical gifts. Yet, at the end of the day, I am often left feeling exhausted and unfulfilled. And then there’s the anticipation, maybe even worry, about receiving gifts.
It should come as no surprise that the “want monster” is particularly demanding this time of year. Advertisers are hitting us at mock speed and at every turn. Our minds can become consumed with all the gift possibilities, and with worry about not getting what we want. I see this in my kids, going through the emotions of the "I want" and they start spending an unhealthy amount of time thinking about the material things.
Material gifts create a desire that can never really be satisfied (even if you get the perfect gift, our minds immediately go to “now what?”). Whether the focus is on giving or recieving, the feelings are quite similar and can become all-consuming, but the reality is, we are consumed with the wrong thing.
There is only one gift that completely satisfies. You know what I am going to say, but let’s dive deep into the why...
Jesus is the greatest gift. First and foremost because he was born as a man, went to the cross for us (yes, all of us!), and if we believe in Him, we will have eternal life! Isn't this just the best news?!
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16)."
Salvation is arguably the greatest gift we will ever receive, but it is not the ONLY gift. Jesus gives us gifts for today as well. Unbelievably great gifts, better than the iPhone 14 (yes I said it).
The last few years have been filled with trials and heartache, it feels as if I have hit a roadblock around every corner. However, the Bible tells us, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33)". Having a hope for the future has helped me keep my focus on Jesus’ face instead of my own circumstances.
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength…(Isaiah 40:31)"
I am so grateful for my relationship with Jesus as I daily lived this trial. I don’t know how I would have gotten through it without Him. He has given me the gift of faith and for that I am so grateful. Here’s the good news, the gift of faith is available for you too!
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9)."
The Bible is absolutely packed with gifts from God through his son. He gave us Jesus as the most perfect gift because He loved us so much, He wanted to give the very best He had. I’ve had moments on this earth when I have felt quite alone but through His Holy Spirit He can fill us, comfort us and guide us. He truly is the greatest gift we could ever receive. He provides for us, directs us, loves us and will never forsake us.
I know all these things and still I find myself caught up in the bustle of giving and receiving gifts and experiences. That is until, I put on the brakes and seek Jesus. He is right there waiting for me. When I turn off the noise and sit with Him, it is as if He had been patiently and lovely waiting for me to join Him. When I turn on worship music and dance around my kitchen, it is as if He is dancing with me. The joy that He gives me in these moments is a joy that no present could ever match.
Jesus is the greatest gift this Christmas and all year long. However, we must block out the noise and carve out time for Him. The truth is, we don’t have to stop everything we are doing, but our minds must focus on Him. Driving to work may be a physical thing we have to do, but a great time to pray, worship, or listen. We may have toddlers around us 24/7, but we can sit with them and tell them about Jesus. When we choose to live our life with Jesus, we learn to bring Him in the little things. The more life-moments we can bring Him into the more opportunities He has to shower us with His most precious gifts.