My nine-year-old son wriggled in anticipation while I carefully unfolded the piece of paper he had meticulously prepared as a gift for me. His eyes were huge with nervous excitement as I neared the last fold. I knew he had spent a lot of time on this gift for me, as I had peeked in on him not once but twice, unnerved by the quiet calmness in my house.
So, when I read his childlike chicken scratch and viewed the multicolored heart he had drawn, my heart swooned.
I took great care in showing him how much it meant to me, and he beamed with pride. He jumped up and down, pointing at the details, asking, "did you see this part?" while I smiled and affirmed his art skills and reread his words.
He truly had made my day, so I shared this with him. By his expression, I could tell it made his day to give it to me and hear my appreciation as well.
Truly, we all love to give more than we like to receive. Getting things is nice, but think of the feeling you get when you find the perfect gift for that special someone and then wait in anticipation for them to open and be delighted with it. There is a gift in giving something special to someone we love and watching them delight in it.
Have you ever considered that God is this way as well? After all, we are made in His image. But more so, He told us this about Himself. The Bible tells us He delights in giving good gifts to His beloved children and our genuine appreciation of them is a form of worship. We give Him a gift when we appreciate and delight in all that He has done for us.
When we find joy in the blessings He has given us; we worship Him. When we rest in the knowledge that He's got us, we worship Him. And when we allow Him to help us envision this upcoming year with possibilities, we worship Him.
So this holiday season, as we celebrate the best gift ever given, let's revel in His gifts and let our appreciation show. While our plans may have been changed, our God is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore. While a global pandemic makes us feel out of control, we have a personal relationship with the ruler of the universe. And while this season has surely brought lots of suffering and hardship, God sent His son to overcome the world. These are great gifts—peace, joy, and hope for every season. One's we can show our appreciation for every day and every season.
Here is my prayer for all of us, myself included, as we head into this Holiday week:
May we see your gifts all around us this season clearer than ever before. May we seek the joy from our blessings and thank you with grateful hearts. May we bring your praise and glory by enjoying the good gifts you have given us. And may we bring joy to your heart by truly resting in your goodness this holiday season and being hopeful for another year to receive life with you. Thank you for all the gifts you have given us. Please help us to bring our gratefulness with us into this new year.
In Jesus's name, Amen.
For me, this year, this looks like a little over a week of rest and time with my family. I will be taking a week off from the devotional blog. We will be starting a new devotional series - Living Loved & Free Every Day- Jan 5th! Until then, I will be praying for a time of Peace, Joy, and Hope for you and yours.
Merry Christmas from my heart to yours.
Announcing the Loved & Free Sermon Series!
We are so excited to announce the Loved & Free Sermon series. In partnership with Durango Vineyard Church, Micah and Pastor DJ walkthrough Micah's book - You Are Loved & Free: A Guided Journey to Winning the Battle for Identity - and the practical steps to rebuilding your identity in Christ. If you feel like you are anything less than a wonderfully created and loved child of God, this series could change your life! You won't want to miss it!