I think I just ordered the last Christmas present today. It's the perfect gift for my perfect husband and when I pressed the "enter" key to send all of the information necessary to purchase the gift and get it on it's way to arrive here before Christmas morning, I had the most wonderful sense of happiness. I could picture him opening it at our son's house. I could picture the look on his face because he would never imagine that I had purchased it for him. I could picture his joy and that brought me joy.
I think I get a little consumed with gifts at Christmas time. I make my lists, I think about what gift would please each name. Sometimes I panic because I can't think of a gift that will please or I don't have enough money to purchase the perfect one. I'm not saying that giving gifts is a bad thing. I believe we are called to be generous and called to be loving. I'm excited about giving my husband, children and grand children their presents this year. I can hardly wait!
As I finished buying that last gift, I joyfully thanked the Lord and He brought to my mind this scripture:
"We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully." Romans 12:6-8
I've been so busy obsessing about Christmas presents, but have I been diligent in giving to others the gift that God has given me? In His word God says He gave us all these gifts and He says we are to use them. Not just at Christmas, but throughout our lives. I can imagine when God created us that He took great joy in choosing just the right gift to give us. In a similar way that many thoughts went through my mind as I chose my husband's perfect Christmas gift, God thought of who you were, what your personality was, where you would live and work and play, the people that would surround you, the people you would love, the people who would hurt you. He knew the way you would think and the experiences you would endure in your lifetime and He said "this is the perfect gift for her". Do you know what your gift is? Are you using it with joy?
I feel quite certain that my husband will enjoy his gift and use it for the purpose that it was made. I would be very disappointed if he didn't. Similarly God wants you to enjoy your gift. More then that He wants you to use it. Even more then that, He will allow things and people in your life so that you will have the opportunities to use your gift. Is He disappointed when we don't? I'm sure He isn't, after all He knows us. His love for us is unconditional. The gifts He gives us are not for Him to measure whether we are good enough or lovable enough. He knows that when we give to others we will be blessed and so will they. It brings us joy and happiness, a sense of purpose. It allows others to see God's love in a human. It may even be used to bring others to salvation.
Corrie ten Boom said, "The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration but its donation." Maybe this Christmas while we wrap each present to place under our trees, we should ask ourselves, "what is the gift that God gave me and how am I using it--not just at Christmas but for all of my life?"
Thank you for the special gift you gave me when you created me. Thank you for being the only One that knows me completely. Thank you for placing me in my family, in this home, in this church, in this state, in this country. Thank you for each person that you bring into my life. Help me please to really see them, to see their need for my gift. Please give me the courage to step out in faith and share the gift and to do it with joy and love so that others will see You in me. I give you all of the glory and I give you all of the honor and praise.
In Jesus name,