“A Very Special Gift”
At Christmas, I always think about some of the favorite Christmas gifts my brother, sister and I received while growing up. Like most kids, perhaps the most memorable gifts we received were our first bicycles. That Christmas was so special it was the subject of a school paper my brother wrote in elementary school. The bicycles were gifts the year before. That year was a tough year. I remember because those were what I call the “beans and corn bread years”. Money was tight and 5 nights out of the week we ate beans and cornbread, the other 2 nights we had cornbread and beans.
I remember there was talk of a strike at the factory where my dad worked and his hours were cut way back. I didn’t fully understand all that was going on; I just remember in general knowing that money was tight. I also remember mom and dad preparing us not to expect too much for Christmas. Daddy explained it by saying the elves were going on strike too. With our expectations for toys set pretty low, you can imagine our surprise and our joy when we woke up Christmas morning to find 3 shiny new bicycles under the tree. Not only did we have bikes but we had other presents too. It was a wonderful Christmas! That’s why the next year my brother wrote a paper for school called, “Why I believe in Santa Clause.” The only argument of his paper was, “How else are you gonna get new bicycles when Daddy ain’t working and you’re broke?” That may have been the only “A” my brother ever received on a paper.
In September 2006, in the last conversation I had with my dad before he passed away, he talked about how he wished he was a better provider. I told him I thought he did fine and I reminded him about the gifts of new bicycles and plenty of other presents that year he wasn’t working. He said that was a special year for him and he shared with me how one of his older brothers provided the money for all of those presents. He said he would never forget how blessed he felt that Christmas. Those gifts were not only special to us kids, but they were very special to my dad too. A loved one intervened and offered something to my father that he could not obtain on his own.
At Christmas time, I love to think back on that story. After all those years I found out that someone came forward with a special gift at the right time. Out of a great love, someone intervened and made a wonderful difference in another’s life. And isn’t that what Christmas is all about? The bible says in Galatians 4:4 that “in the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son born of a woman so that He could redeem us.” God who so loves the world, has intervened and has given us the gift of His Son – and what a glorious gift He is! God has given us gifts we could never obtain on our own. Christ is the gift of eternal life! Christ is the gift of strength! Christ offers us the joy to make it through each day no matter what struggles we face!
We need the gift of Christ. How else are you going to make it through the night when your heart is broken and the world seems without hope? How else are you going to get out of bed and face another day when the doctor has given you a bad report and your entire body aches? How else are you going to find the confidence to tell your child that everything will be all right when you yourself have fears and doubts deep in your heart? How else are you gonna get new bicycles when Daddy ain’t working and your family is broke? God because of His great love offers all of those things to you. God offers to intervene in your circumstances this Christmas and make a wonderful difference in your life through a precious gift, the most special gift ever, the person and the presence of His Son Jesus Christ.