It’s that time of year again–the season when people from all over the world celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth with traditions and gift giving.
We can get so busy so quickly and have the potential to become consumed by what we need to do, want to do or maybe, even, what we shouldn’t do. In this busyness, we can lose sight of what the season is truly about. Then, in one striking moment, our busy lives can come to a halt.
This striking moment can come in the form of many things: a debilitating sickness, devastating diagnosis, job loss, death of a loved one, a severed relationship or witnessing others struggling through any one of these situations.
These moments and struggles have a way of causing us to reflect on, consider and search for what is truly important.
This happened to me recently, when I woke one morning and the room was spinning. I was having another episode of vertigo, only this time it was worse than ever. For a week I stayed in bed. I could do nothing without vomiting or feeling nauseous. Life, in a sense, came to a halt.
Life is so fragile. The Bible says, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” (1 Peter 1:24)
In a moment, I was stripped of all self reliance and my ability to do what I needed to do. Yet in this sickness, God is gently reminding me to remember what is most important and to treasure the Greatest Gift.
What is most important?
God has satisfied my deepest need and He is the only One who can.
This is the Truth that all of mankind desperately needs and this is the Truth God is whispering in my heart over and over again. God knows that our deepest need is to be rescued from our bondage to sin. Sin is what separates us from God, but God loved the world so much that He gave mankind the Greatest Gift.
The Bible says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” (Romans 2:8)
In our sinful state, He gave us Jesus, the Rescuer of our souls. Jesus willingly sacrificed His life. He was the Ransom God the Father required for the souls of men and He is the Victor over sin, death and the grave.
Everyone who believes in Jesus starts at the cross. It is at the cross that we see the love of God displayed, it is where we see the immense suffering of Jesus and it is where we see sin and death defeated. When we come to the cross, we bring nothing worthy enough to earn salvation. Yet, this is the beauty of the cross.
This is where our deepest need is met!
He forgives our sin and gives us new life here on earth and throughout all eternity. We don’t start at the cross and then leave it behind. We must continually cling to the cross of Jesus and it’s vivid picture of God’s great love for us and our great need for Him.
Why should we remember and treasure the Greatest Gift?
When we reflect on the cross and all that it symbolizes, we grow grateful. We are reminded that God withheld the punishment we deserve and made us His children, giving us what we don’t deserve.
This changes our perspective.
Yes, we will face suffering in this life, but we have hope while we suffer because we know this life is not the end. We wait with great anticipation for the day we will enter Heaven and spend eternity in the presence of our loving Father. There will be no sorrow, no suffering and no sin.
Whether I receive answers regarding my sickness, find a remedy for it or live with it for the rest of my life, I can rest assured that God has already satisfied my deepest need, and because of this He can be trusted with my every need.
The Bible says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
As children of God, we have access every moment of every day to the One who spoke galaxies into existence. He is the One who calls us close and invites us to lay our burdens down.
What is our new perspective?
As we give God our every burden, pray for the sick, trust Him to provide for our physical needs and give Him every desire, we are handing our lives to Him and believing He will do whatever is for our ultimate good.
As we remember and treasure Jesus Christ, our hearts are filled with His peace, joy and love. We grow in our understanding of who Jesus is. By satisfying our deepest need, He became the strong and unmovable Foundation on which our lives are being built.
No matter what kind of suffering we experience, we can have confidence in knowing that our Foundation is secure. We can cling to the beautiful picture the cross displays of the never ending love of God.
In giving us the Greatest Gift, God secured our salvation and satisfied our need to be accepted and loved with a perfect love. So every breath we breathe can be viewed as a blessing, every person as someone to love with God’s love and every moment as an opportunity to live in joyful obedience to our great God.
Whether you are caught up in the busyness or your life has come to a halt, may this season remind you of the Greatest Gift, may it remind you of God’s great love for you in your suffering and may it serve as an opportunity to share with others the Good News of the Greatest Gift ever given.
AUTHORED BY AMY JENNINGS, MEMBER, NORTH CENTRAL CHURCH