The Worst Gift

Psalm 36: 5-6(a) (NLT): “Your unfailing love, o Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths . . .”

To this day, the worst gift I’ve ever received (and my mom can attest to this) was a Furby. A horrid little fuzzy robot with creepy, blinking bug eyes and the most obnoxious voice. I begged my parents for one for months and months, but once it arrived, I couldn’t stand it. It was the hottest gift of the late 90s after the beanie baby hype died down. Even after my mother ripped out the batteries and locked it away in the attic, we could still hear it wake up in the middle of the night, calling out to be held and played with. It still sends shudders down my spine. I think we ended up setting it on fire just to get it to stop talking.

However, the best gift I ever received was love. It’s as cheesy and as simple as that. It was my parents sacrificing their wants and needs to put my brother and me in the best schools possible. It was my dad gently wiping the tears from my eyes after I failed another math test and felt like I had wasted his money because I wasn’t smart enough to understand basic algebra. It was my mom scooping me off the sidewalk after a nasty spill on my Little Mermaid bike and making me honey toast to help the burn of my scraped knee subside. It was my little brother offering me his final Dorito or asking me to sleep in his room because he was scared of the dark. My favorite gift of all time is the love that coursed through my childhood and has continued to overflow into my adulthood.

Isn’t that funny? The thing I wanted the most yet was the most disappointed by was a piece of plastic junk that I couldn’t wait to get rid of, but the thing I still value the most is something so intangible. This is how I have learned that all I truly need is the love of my Creator. I lack nothing. I am sustained by love. I am nourished by love. I am grown by love. When the world crumbles away and we all return to ashes, it is love that will remain.

As we celebrate the holidays this year, let’s not forget the most important gift any of us have been given: the ability to love and the gift of what love has done for us.

I urge you to take some time today to count your blessings. How many things in your life have been provided to you through the unconditional love, grace, and guidance of God? How much of your day can you spend in gratitude and celebrating this gift?

Prayer: Lord, you are the God of grace and love. I can never thank you or repay you enough to show my gratitude for what you have done for me. Please help me to remember that all that matters, all that is real, is love. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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