You Still Have a Gift Under the Tree
Christmas has come and gone. The family gatherings and gift exchanges are all but over. For many of us, that means there is a feeling of emptiness in the the air. A feeling that something just isn’t quite right. A feeling that this season should have ended differently, yet once again we are left the same; feeling empty and wondering why? Does this sound like you? All too often these feelings of emptiness originate from one of several sources.
First, quite possibly this Christmas was picture perfect for you and yours. So beautiful, so peaceful, and perfect that it should have been made into a Hallmark movie. The precious time spent with family and friends was so special, and so fun, that after everyone left and returned to their normal routines you were left with an emptiness, a deep feeling of loneliness, or sadness. Wishing the season could just go on and on.
Or, maybe the emptiness originates because Christmas wasn’t what you had hoped for. This year, your family gatherings were missing that special someone. A loss so painful, that even the brightest of Christmas lights couldn’t override the darkness. And you just can’t wait to get back to “normal,” whatever that means.
Or worse. Maybe at your Christmas gathering, everyone did show up. And with that, they brought gifts of tension and dysfunction you’ve worked years to get away from. You attempt to be the light in the darkness, but your light is not welcome in their darkness. The gifts you received? Tension, anxiety, and a whopping headache. And even though you’ve parted ways, and life is returning to normal, deep down there was a hope that this year, maybe things would be different. Unfortunately they weren’t.
Sweet friend, may I offer you a ray of hope, a little light, and a sweet surprise? You still have a precious gift under the Christmas Tree! (And yes, you can still unwrap it, even if you packed up all the decorations, and that tree just as soon as the sun rose on December 26th.)
This crazy world has us so wrapped up in what the perfect Christmas looks like, (and social media doesn’t help.) If you’re not taking a selfie while you’re sipping eggnog in front of the fireplace, right after you’ve played a game of Twister with 25 of your closest family members, laughing the entire time, your Christmas must’ve bombed.
Unfortunately most of us have missed out on the one gift we were all supposed to unwrap this Christmas. Some of the most devout Christians I know get so wrapped up in wrapping their store bought gifts, I wonder where they hide the baby Jesus on Christmas morn. (Unfortunately, yours truly must be included in this category.) The commercialism is real. And it’s nearly impossible to keep our focus on the true meaning of the season. Let’s face it, there are no commercials reminding us to be sure we read the story of the birth of Jesus on Christmas morning, let alone open the precious gift He came to give.
In all, I’ve come to this conclusion. Regardless of where my emptiness originated this year, (and yes, one of those above scenarios is my personal story, maybe all of them,) I am refusing to let satan steal the gift that I waited all year for: the birth of my Savior. When my attention falls to the one gift that I am blessed to open every single year, I am reminded that this precious gift never gets old, never runs out of batteries, and always keeps on giving. The birth of our Savior was designed to remind us that we have been given a gift that is priceless. A gift that leaves us feeling overwhelmed with joy, and gratitude, not empty. And this gift cannot be tainted with a less than perfect family gathering, or whether or not we received that “one thing” that was on our wish list. When we focus on Jesus, we are never left with an emptiness, because His birth is a gift that was designed to “give us exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ask or think.”
Friend, unwrap the only gift that has the power to change your atmosphere. Unwrap the only gift that has the power to lift the sadness, wipe away the tears, and provide the hope you need for starting you new year off better than ever before. Sit down today and unwrap the gift of Jesus. The One who has “Come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
If you struggle to figure out how to open this priceless and precious gift, pray this simple prayer with me: Dear Jesus, I am so thankful for the gift that You bring me this, and every year. I know this gift cannot be bought. I know that it is gift that will change me and all those I love so dearly. Help me God to spend time this year appreciating this precious gift, taking time to unwrap it every single day, being reminded that You are the gift that matters, and when I look to YOU for my happiness, peace, and joy, the atmosphere, and situations around me will forever be changed. Thank you for the precious gift of my Savior, the one who truly saved me, and gave me the best gift I could ever ask for. I love YOU!
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