There is a present under our Christmas tree this year that has been there for many years. We store it with all the other decorations, but it is not an ornament. We open it each Christmas morning, before opening any of our other gifts, and then we put it back, but not before we pray and add something else to it that wasn’t there before. I don’t remember just how or when this tradition began, but I’m so thankful that it did. You see, this gift is for Jesus’ birthday.
I know many people make a birthday cake for Jesus, making the effort to remember He is the reason for all the celebration, but the Lord put it on my heart many years ago to give Jesus a gift. When you think about it, that’s pretty amazing. After all, what could I possibly give to Jesus as a gift? However, each year He has made it clear just what He wanted from each of us. We write those things down privately on separate pieces of paper, then come together to pray as we offer these gifts to the Lord, putting them in the box and returning it to its place under the tree.
What kind of gifts have I given my Jesus? I have “given” him family members when He’s shown me that I am holding onto them, trying to be the Holy Spirit and force them to be who I think He created them to be. One year, He spoke to my heart that I was to give Him my sadness. I wasn’t even aware it was there until He spoke that to my spirit, and then I saw, with spiritual eyes, a low level of sadness in everything I thought and did – even in the happy times. There have been gifts to Him of all my regrets, my busy-ness of mind, my prayer life and the expectation of what it “should” be, etc. There have been years He has asked me to give Him something I had previously given, but apparently had taken back or not totally released to Him; but He is always so gentle when He asks. One year, He told me to give Him anything I wanted to. Wow! I don’t know what I’m giving Jesus this year, but there is excitement in me as I begin to wait on Him to direct me in this.
Jesus wants so much more for me than I currently experience, and He knows that as I give more and more of me to Him, I am able to experience so much more of Him! It’s as if He always gives me something wonderful in place of what He has asked me to give Him. For instance, when I give Him my loved ones, I am released, as well. I no longer try to carry the weight of responsibility for someone else’s actions, and instead take on His easy yoke and light burden. When I gave Him my sadness, the lightness I received in return was wonderful! I was able to walk in His joy and peace even in the midst of sad times, without the shackle of sadness that had been attached (illegally!) to me for so long. When I gave Him my regrets over a particular season in my life, I was able to see the whole picture and realize those places I failed were only a minor part of the whole story. From that point on, I could think about those times differently, and realize how the Lord had never turned away from me, always urging me on in His grace and mercy! Condemnation no longer had a hold, all glory to God! I truly cannot out-give God!
Jesus Christ is absolutely the best Gift we could ever ask for or receive! Our heavenly Father prepared Him to be a perfect fit, color, and match for our every need! We will continue discovering more aspects of this most precious Gift for the rest of our lives, as we continue abiding in Him. So, on this special day of the year, let’s be sure to give Him a gift from our hearts in response to what He has given us. Happy birthday, Jesus!