My son who turned 12 last September was thinking of how he wanted to celebrate his birthday. He made these following choices: watch the Pentatonix band or invite his close friends and family over dinner. I know my son very well. His love language is Gifts. So, I expected he would choose the tickets to the concert. But as it turns out, he chose the latter. So in just a few days we just texted our family friends to drop by our home for a simple get together for his birthday. Since his friends know him so well and since it was so short notice, all his friends immediately asked my son what he wanted for his birthday. His response was the one that floored his guest. When they came to the party every single person called out that they were surprise by the way my son responded to them about his gift. This is what he said:
“The best gift you can give me for my birthday is your presence. Your presence is the best present!”
I had no idea that he actually texted them that. But without my son knowing he impacted me with that response.
The truth is many of us act as entitled and spoiled individuals. We are always running to get “what we feel we deserve” kinda blessings. These blessings can be translated to a good career, a successful business, recognition, fame and accolades in the eyes of the world, increase in finances, finding God’s best, having a baby after the long wait, having good health, getting perks and privileges. There is nothing really wrong with all of these. I strongly believe God wants to bless his people. He desires to give these things to us. That is one of the divine nature of God. God is a Generous Giver. I will still never be able to comprehend how God would be willing to die for sinners like me. Sending His Only Son, Jesus was the ultimate proof that God is Generous and gives Grace to underserving people like me.
What blows my mind even more is how many of us STILL miss out on the whole point. We get so engrossed with the blessing, we forget the “BLESSOR”. We selfishly delight in the gift and often times forget the GIVER. A good test to know if we love the gift more than the Giver is to see how one would respond, when the Giver takes away that very blessing He gave. Can we still be able to love Him? Can one truly say with all their heart, “God, I love you more than all these things?” This is really the heart of the matter. There is that temptation to ask God “Why are you doing this to me?” Sometime we even want to remind God everything we did for Him as if He owes us something.
Matthew’s response reminded me of what we should really be seeking: God’s presence. His presence alone should be enough for me. His presence is Heaven on earth for me. I would cry out to God many times in my prayer time and I would quote:
…”If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.” Exodus 33:15-16
You see if the Lord is not with me, I don’t know where I’d be without Him. I would always tell the Lord the same way Moses did…
Don’t let me go where your presence is not before me Lord. I want more of you. Nothing in this world is worth more than you. And just like this song, my heart longs for more of Him every day.
Where you go, I’ll go.
Where you stay, I’ll stay.
Where you move, I’ll move.
I will follow you.
This Christmas season, let it not be about the traffic, shopping rush, parties or events that make this season bright and happy. Don’t let the busyness make you miss out on finding the Savior of the World in your heart.
Don’t ruin Christmas either by having a DISCONTENTED and COVETOUS HEART. If we are not careful and let our eyes stray, this season can bring out the worst in us. We see what we don’t have and we feel bad when we look at what others have. Let Christmas not be about what you are to receive but what you are to give. Give out forgiveness. Give out patience. Give out love. Give to those in need. Give hope by sharing Jesus. As you give, It is my greatest prayer that you find the greatest gift of all: Jesus. His presence is the what makes Christmas special, complete and whole.
Blessed Christmas to you guys. May Jesus be the center of this season. May His presence be everything to you and your family.