It was the early 90’s and I was a wee child excited for Christmas Day, yet distraught because there were only three presents underneath the Christmas Tree. To make matters worse, all the gifts had mine AND my brother’s name on them. I was not big on sharing and I could not believe that there was not at least one gift just for me. All three gifts were big and heavy so I held out hope that one of those boxes was a new Super Nintendo.
To my dismay the boxes contained a computer, a printer, and a box of paper. My parents actually wrapped up the box of paper. You know, that accordion style computer paper with the holes on the side. I was deeply disappointed. At that time not a lot of people had computers and I just couldn’t fathom how a stupid computer was better than a Super Nintendo. My Dad did not make me feel better when he told me about the encyclopedia software and the other educational software that he purchased to help us with our homework. I thought that was the worst Christmas gift ever. Usually my parents got me a few things on my list but not that year. They completely ignored my requests! No Barbie Dream House, no boom box, no cute clothes. It was a disaster…. or so, I thought.
A few weeks later, my parents had to tear me away from the computer every night, and my brother and I were constantly fighting over it! I found several games that I was determined to beat, and the encyclopedia software was much easier than using the heavy encyclopedia books that we had been using for years. For you youngsters that don’t know what an encyclopedia is, please Google it, and then thank the Lord that you never had to bother with those things. That Christmas I was blessed with a great gift and I did not even realize it.
As I was remembering that Christmas gift, it reminded me of the wonderful gifts that God gives us. Wonderful gifts that I do not acknowledge or thank Him for enough. First, there is my gift of salvation. It’s easy to take salvation for granted yet there are many (some sources state over 2 billion) people that have never heard the gospel. We all know at least a handful of people that are not saved. But by God’s grace I have been saved. The Lord pursued me! I turned my back on Him and ignored Him throughout the years, yet God never once stopped pursuing me. He faithfully sent people to encourage me, pray for me, and invite me to church. And He was always there with me, even when I was running away. God pursued me until I finally accepted His gift of salvation.
Then, there is the gift of people. When I stop and consider my amazing family and friends, I am grateful because they are all gifts from God. When we think about it, it is quite astonishing to realize the number of people that God has placed in our lives. Nurturing mothers, fathers to protect and teach, family members to support, ministers that help guide, and teachers that inspire. Then, according to Proverbs 17:17, there are the friends that love at all times and the brothers and sisters that are born for adveristy.
I used to believe this verse meant that brothers and sisters are born for you to fight with; that certainly seemed to be the case in my home 🙂 Later, I found that the verse refers to brothers and sisters that have been placed in our lives epecially to stand with us in times of adversity. The people that stand with us in our darkest hour and pray, or simply listen, or just hold us. The people that cry with you, fight for you, and sacrfice for you. What a priceless gift. Yet as relationships are strained and as life happens, like my Christmas computer, we sometimes undervalue and don’t appreciate the gift of people that God has given us.
Going into this new year, let’s value and appreciate all that God had given to us.
Written By: Remaliah Evans
You can reach Remaliah at Remaliah@lifebuilderseminars.com.