Some seasons in life are really difficult. Our hearts get broken, and the days drag on and on, making the season seem endless and sometimes even hopeless. And during the holidays, this brokenness seems compounded. But if we open the eyes of our hearts, we will find we are surrounded by gifts.
God is a gift-giver in every season of life. Every good and perfect gift comes from Him.1 But will we be receivers of these gifts?
There are some gifts which have been given for each and every one of us, and some are gifted specifically and individually.
Available for all of us to receive are the gifts of His salvation, eternal life, grace, and love. And once we receive these gifts from Him, we will also know hope, comfort, and peace.2
There are gifts in the world around us: natural beauty, love and kindness from others, joy, laughter, music, art, words, our senses, and His provision.
There are gifts He has instilled within us, meant to be poured out for others. He created us and prepared us in advance for good works.3 These works are not to be left undone, with our gifts hidden away, hoarded, neglected, and uncultivated. No, they are meant to be stirred up and administered—things like mercy, compassion, kindness, and love.
The unique giftedness of each of us is to reflect His light and love to others. We are to shine as only we can—not for ourselves so that we will get the glory but for Him and so that He will.4
So, if in these seasons of difficulty, heartache, suffering, and grief we are wrapped up in ourselves and the pain of our circumstances, then God’s gifts are not being unwrapped for ourselves or presented for a waiting world to receive. As difficult as it is, we should not hide our light or stop living our purpose in the midst of our painful circumstances. We can hold on to the words of Hebrews 6:19 which tell us that hope is “an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.” In the midst of these difficult times, we will find He is hope, balm, healing, and the God of all comfort. We have the privilege of entering His presence to find His help in our time of need.5 Consider the joy of His presence and the wonder that He would commune with us! And He has promised to never leave nor forsake His own.6
May the gift of the Savior whom we celebrate this Christmas season be part of every season of our lives. May His light shine through us even in our darkest of nights. May our lives be a gift to Him and to the world on His behalf. Yes, may we show the world the greatest gift we have ever been given: Immanuel, God with us.
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
2 Corinthians 9:15
1 See James 1:17.
2 See John 3:16, John 14:27, Romans 10:13, 2 Corinthians 1:3, Ephesians 2:8, and 1 Peter 1:3.
3 See Ephesians 2:10.
4 See Matthew 5:16.
5 See Hebrews 4:16.
6 See Hebrews 13:5.
Hebrews 6:19 and 2 Corinthians 9:15 are taken from the New King James Version of the Holy Bible, ©1982 by Thomas Nelson.
©Text and photo Francee Strain, December 11, 2022