Is it tangible?
Is it something more abstract?
Well, if we are truly honest with ourselves, we can admit that the more abstract can be of more value than the tangible.
The greatest gift is family... and friends. Wouldn't you agree?
It's an endearing thing to be surrounded by the people we love.
Like during holiday dinners. Like Thanksgiving, when we're all sitting around the table and we all share what it is we are most grateful for. My siblings are there and their spouses and kids. After a while the house seems crowded, and it can get kind of noisy. I remember last year's Thanksgiving seemed kind of quiet without my brother and his loud voice. Family is the greatest gift!
The greatest gift is the love of your children. Truly there is nothing like it. From the time they are born, you realize what it is to give of yourself with little to no expectation of what you might get in return.
But when they do give you something in return.... oh, it feels sooo good. My children's bright eyes and the way they connect with mine. Even in a crowded room. I love that feeling!
The greatest gift is that lifelong mate that promises to have and hold you until death do the two of you apart. Waking up next to that person and trusting that he/she will remain, is undeniably an awesome thing. It's an even more awesome wonder, when you find yourselves still connected somehow even after many years together. Laughter and physical touch shared with that one person....it's a wonderful thing.
The greatest gift...
But what if one day you find yourself without these things that you so cherish? What if you found yourself stripped of all that means everything to you? What if if you lose those you most love? What then?
How do you go on without your greatest gifts?
Have you ever given it much thought?
In fact, there have been times when I have had to evaluate my life and determine what I can do without. I've told myself, "my kids, what would I do without them?" "my husband, I can't live without him." and so on...
Yet, I have come to the wild realization that I could possibly lose those that I cherish, and I could possibly be stripped of my most treasured gifts. And then still I've come to the same conclusion, time and time again.....
that is.....that I would rather lose everything... including those who are closest to my heart, than to lose my relationship with God.
Why is that?
Think about it for a second. I can live without my family and friends, my kids, my husband, my beautiful mother (as painful as that would be) ....but I can not live without my God.
And I would hate to be surrounded by my most treasured gifts and yet not be connected to God.
Okay, so I think I've narrowed it down.
The greatest gift for me is knowing God. Being a relationship with my creator. Grasping and gaining the knowledge of who God is. Knowing that He chose me. Believing that He loves me. Accepting that He saves and forgives me. Understanding that He is the purpose for my living. That He's given me the purpose for living. That without Him, I have nothing. That He made sure to show me through His own son, Jesus.... who came as a baby to earth and left this earth as a man... who died for my wrongs and shame, and who now awaits for me... for the day when I will finally meet Him face to face. What a glorious gift!!! Truly a gift like no other.
It's made clear. Everything I have comes from Him. And lastly, I can do without everything, but I cannot do without Him.
My greatest gift.
The greatest gift.
Luke 2:6, "While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gve birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger..."
Hebrews 9:28, "so Christ was sacrified once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salavation to those who are waiting for him."
Romans 14:8, "If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord."