“For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’” (Isaiah 41:13)
When God gives us gifts, I believe he intends for us to share them with others.
All through Scripture he challenges us to be generous, “to cast our bread on the water” (Ecclesiastes 11:1), to sow bountifully in order to reap the same (see 2 Corinthians 9:6). God challenges us to “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure pressed down, shaken together, running over will be put into your lap” (Luke 6:38). God embodies generosity and he calls his children to go and do likewise.
Christmas is a celebration of his most lavish gift – Jesus Christ. What on earth could ever compare with this indescribable gift: “The Father has sent the Son t0 be the Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14)? And we in turn, to commemorate what Christ has done for us, choose Christmas time to bestow gifts on those we love, on ministries doing his work, on staff members who serve faithfully all year through. Christmas elevates gift-giving when done to honor the birthday of our King.
But what about the times God hands us parcels that we would rather never have in our possession, when he asks us to handle circumstances that are heavy, cumbersome, or hard. What are we to do with those areas of our lives that always ache and never seem to go away, that leave us desperate for something besides this, anything but this. Most especially at Christmas, when all the world is draped in merry and bright, our difficult places seem that much harder to manage.
Perhaps this Christmas would be the perfect season to release that ache to him. For a moment I encourage you to picture yourself putting that problem into a box, as large or as small as required. Then lift that trouble up to Jesus, give it to him to hold, ask him to carry it for you, knowing his arm is mighty and his hands are always strong enough (see Psalm 89:7).
His Word teaches us to do this in similar ways. “Cast your burdens on the LORD, and he will sustain you” (Psalm 55:22). “Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Christ tells us all through the gospels to come to him and he will give us his life-giving rest. Christmas just might be the perfect time to make that a reality.
Christmas is the story of God doing the impossible. That specific line is one the angel Gabriel actually tells Mary when he announces her life-altering gift: “For nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).
Our Lord promises to carefully hold anything we give back to him and make something beautiful out of it. He always keeps his promises. Christmas is proof that he does just that.
Elizabeth A Mitchell
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