They weren't the most fabulous gifts. I am not very good at those sentimental, deeply-touching presents that others give. My mind thinks too much about practicality--needs versus wants, usefulness instead of thoughtfulness. However, with each curled ribbon I prayed with hope that those who recieve each will know the deep love my husband and I have for them.
I stuffed the last box into a large grocery bag and tried to sigh away a little flutter that lurked deep in my stomach. I breathed a prayer to God to release the worry to Him. I had done my best, the reactions and reception of others would not be my responsibility. We have no control over how others recieve our gifts to them.
My eyes drifted over to our little nativity scene. The baby boy lay nestled in hay. Innocent. Perfect. Love. The greatest present of all.
What thoughts did my Heavenly Father have the night His Son was born? His gift to the world had been presented. An awesome, amazing, incredible gift was given to the earth. One that would be met with joy and awe.
But not by everyone.
God knew that before His Son was ever born. He knew before the gift was given. He knew, even then, that many would ignore it. Many would refuse it. Many would be angered by it. Many would reject His perfect act of love.
He chose not to control the actions of how His gift was recieved. He gave out of a merciful, wise, and peaceful heart. He gave fully and completely. He gave.
Presents are a beautiful symbol of what we celebrate this season. Perhaps that is why, even today, giving is my favorite part of the Christmas season. God gave regardless of how His gift would be recieved. He gave out of love.
May we all give the same way. May we give out of joy, wisdom, and peace. Out of a deep desire to show our love to others, even it is something as simple as a card. Because we have no control over how our presents are recieved. We only have influence on the condition of our hearts as we give.
Enjoy that deep love you feel this week as you give to others. May you have a very merry Christmas.
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"...and God was already there with me."