It’s Jesus birthday and I don’t know what to give Him. I can’t go to the store and buy him a shiny new bike and wrap it in sparkling paper and put it under the tree. I don’t think He wants a gift card to Amazon either. What can I do? How can I show Him I love Him and appreciate all He has done for me? These are questions we wrestled with over the years.
While I don’t think there are any right answers to those questions, there are a few traditions our family has developed over the years that seem to work well for us. For example, each child receives three gifts. There is nothing Biblical about it, we just chose that model after the three gifts the Wise Men brought Jesus. We then use the rest of the money we would have spent on gifts and give it to someone in need.
Another thing we do is to give a “Gift to the King”. Each of us writes a note to Jesus and puts it under the tree. The gift is something from our heart. Over the years gifts have ranged from trusting God more, to obeying whatever He asks. We then share with each other what we are giving to Jesus. This time of commitment and sharing has become a special family tradition.
It has been humbling and awesome to watch God take our simple gifts and make something beautiful out of them. Each year, I get back so much more than the gift I’ve given. For example, the year I committed to trust Him more, my Pastor preached on the topic of trust that following Sunday. It was a confirmation that God heard me and was pleased with my gift. That year brought more pain than I could have ever imagined that bright, sparkly Christmas morning. Yet, every step of the way, I knew God was teaching me to trust Him. He was giving me the gift I had given Him. That year I began to learn what will probably take me the rest of my life to grasp – 1 Samuel 2:2 “There is none like the Lord; there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.”
As I thought and prayed about what gift Jesus would like for Christmas this year, God brought me back to focusing on the core, foundational things. I’m so involved in so many activities – good things, ministry things – yet I often get so rushed and frustrated and impatient. I don’t think that’s what God wants. I need to slow down bathe my day in prayer. I want to take time daily to sit quietly with my husband and hear God’s voice. I don’t want to take one step of one day without knowing I and my family are walking in God’s grace and love. I want to hear my children, to really listen to them and be involved not just in making sure they are fed and our list of school work is done for the day, but to practice Proverbs 20:5, “The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.”
Each year, as I give Jesus His gift, I have no idea how He will use that gift. Each year I am amazed at what He does with the gift I give Him. But, I know He’s going to do something great. This morning when I woke up and read the devotional in my inbox, I was again amazed at God’s acknowledgment of my gift and so excited to see Him begin to work it into my life. Here’s a link to the devotional I read. I pray it blesses you as it blessed me.