Sunday, December 22, 2019
What kind of Christmas do you anticipate this year? Perhaps your Christmas will involve a lot of extra work for you in addition to the challenges and responsibilities of other life activities, or perhaps you are feeling isolated and ignored and all alone this Christmas in your daily burdens. Instead, however, perhaps you will experience Christmas this year as a reminder of your blessings and as a blessed respite from the drama of life's challenges.
Whatever we experience this Christmas and with every gift we receive at Christmas or at any time of year we have to open our hands to receive the gift; or the gift does not benefit us or give us any joy. The gifts we receive which are eternally precious, however, are the gifts which God wants to give us.
The Lord first offers us the gift of salvation which is what Christmas and walking with the Lord is all about. He further offers us the accompanying gifts of joy, peace, and hope. They are ours for the taking; and yes, they can coexist with the pain and heartache which often are present in life. Further, the Lord promises us a happy ending. That happy ending is eternal life. Christian reader, the heartaches that sometimes come in life are but a comma in your life story. They are not the end of your life’s story. They are not the end of your loved ones' life stories either.
We also can all receive other gifts. We can receive the gift of trust in God and letting Him control our lives. We receive this gift by resting in Him and by letting go of anything which we are holding onto too tightly or trying to control.
We further all have to let go of feelings of unforgiveness for people who have not been there for us. We further have to receive the gift of forgiveness for ourselves. We have to bring to the Lord any true wrongs, and ask for His forgiveness. Further, we often carry around a lot of false guilt about things beyond our control. So whether false guilt or true guilt, we need to let it go. We need to give it to the Lord. Trust and letting go are great gifts to have in our lives. Receive the gift of releasing it to the Lord.
One great gift we can give ourselves is the gift of acceptance of our situation. We often waste so much energy wishing circumstances were different, but we can rest assured that we are right where we are supposed to be in our lives. Dear Reader, your responsibilities may be emotionally overwhelming at times, but in the measure that you can accept where God has placed you now in your life you will find joy. It is a great gift you can give yourself.
Yet another wonderful gift we can give ourselves is the gift of being still in the presence of God. (Psalm 46:10) Doing this helps us grow in peace, wisdom, and insights. Finally, we can give ourselves the gift of gratitude. When we are grateful in spite of our circumstances our joy and blessings will multiply and resentments will flee.
Would not these be wonderful gifts to have in your life? These are wonderful gifts not just for Christmas but all year long!