As a child, I dreamed of the gifts I might get on Christmas morning. Anything was possible, all I had to do was ask and wait. I did not understand budgets, I only knew something would be waiting for me on Christmas morning, and it always was. I was never disappointed. When I was old enough to earn an allowance, I loved shopping for others. Most of the time it was at the dollar store because I could not afford anything else. No matter what I got mom and dad, they loved and cherished it. After my father passed away and we were moving my mom, I found a dollar store gift that I had given my dad over 40 years ago. It still had my note to him attached.
As a parent, I transitioned to the giver of the wishes to two small, wide-eyed children who believed just as I did, that all they had to do was ask and wait. Although our gifts were never extravagant, they were given with love and were always appreciated.
How much more does our Heavenly Father want to give us good gifts? What we choose to do with those gifts is our gift back to Him.
This Christmas season is very different. It’s easy to be filled with loneliness and fear, but I do not believe that is what our Father wants for us. He is the same today as He was last year, as He was when you graduated college, as He was when you married your best friend and when you had your babies. He doesn’t change when our circumstances change.
What does my gift to God look like? Faith above fear and trust above uncertain times. The biggest gift I can give God is moving when He says move. If I choose to be safe, God does not get the glory. If I stay when He says go, how sad must that make Him, when around the corner are bigger gifts He has for me than I could ever imagine. It not only hurts God but people miss out on knowing Him through our gifts.
Mark Twain wrote, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
If I had chosen fear when starting Village to Village, 1,000 people would not have clean water, a community would not have a church to worship in, a mama would probably not be alive to raise her children, 20 children would not be in school because they would have no families to sponsor them, ponds in Africa would not be stocked so a food source would be gone, and so on. These things did not happen because I did them, lots of people have come together to provide but there would not have been a person to simply ask the questions to those in need.
My daily gift to God is hearing His voice and doing what He asks whether it makes sense to me or not. My gift is giving when I don’t have, loving others when I have been hurt by them, being still when He asks me to (one of the hardest for me), living a life of simplicity so I can do for His children when at times I just want to take a nice vacation for myself. This is the most important gift I can give because it moves me closer to Him and others and that is what we are called to do. Giving a gift is not hard, we generally get more out of giving than receiving. I promise when you give God your all, you will be blessed far beyond anything you could ever imagine. It’s a life worth living. It’s a dream worth dreaming. Most of all, it is a gift worth giving.
I pray that this Christmas season you will know Him and rest in His presence regardless of the circumstances the world is in or you are in. When you give back to Him it really is the gift that continues to give long after you are gone.