Every good gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
— (James 1:17 NIV)
On Christmas morning, we didn’t rush downstairs to open presents because beautifully wrapped packages weren’t under our tree. Instead, we waited with great excitement for Dad to appear. He hid the gifts, and we took turns searching for them. I’m not sure whether he disliked wrapping packages or loved watching us find them.
We gathered close to one another and begged to go first. Waiting was challenging, but Dad decided who was next and gave us clues. He helped us by telling us whether we were cold, warm, or hot. If we ventured off course, he told us the path was cold. When it was hot, we knew the prize was close by. Rather than Daddy passing out packages to rip open, our Christmas tradition was an exciting scavenger hunt to discover where he hid packages. My siblings and I watched with wonder and delight as we found the hidden presents.
Although eager for a turn, we waited and learned the joy of watching someone else receive. When it was our turn, we pursued his gifts with anticipation about what he had for us. The search and discovery turned into hope. We were always excited to find the new things Daddy gave us.
Thus, we lingered together while we took turns until we found and opened every present. This simple but valuable discipline taught us to be thankful while waiting for our desires to be fulfilled. Joy wasn’t a physical package with a red bow; it was a vibrant energy that filled the room with love and laughter. The time spent together giggling changed our hearts, and gratitude replaced selfish expectations. We shared in each other’s hope and joy.
Throughout life, God blesses us with material items to enjoy on earth, but physical things aren’t the best God has for us. When we draw close to Jesus, he reveals himself to us and uncovers the talents placed within us. Reading the Word with expectancy is like a child full of excitement about the prospect of opening presents.
Just as my earthly father found joy in watching us eagerly seeking the trinkets, our heavenly Father is glad when we seek to know him and his son. It pleases God whenever we honor his son. When we accept him as Savior, the Holy Spirit lives in us. He desires we grow in awareness of his abundant love and the coming joy that awaits us as believers when he returns. A greater revelation of his sovereignty and love comes when we seek our heavenly Father and wait with great excitement for the return of His Son.
However, Christian life is sometimes similar to a scavenger hunt. While studying the Bible, we don’t know what His Spirit will reveal. Hidden deep within us is an empty vacuum that only God can fill. His purpose becomes a desire that brings everlasting happiness. The Holy Spirit reveals the truth, the rock we stand upon, which is immovable. Our assurance is upon God, who is supreme over all. Joy in the Lord comes through an abiding dependence upon Jesus.
As our faith in God grows, our hearts change and we surrender to our Father’s will. When we seek Jesus first, not joyful experiences, then our confidence in him flourishes. Abundant joy is in Christ alone. Nothing else satisfies heartfelt yearnings.
Although accepting Jesus as Savior brings incredible joy while on earth, it is only the beginning of our marvelous journey. I hope that by sharing my life’s stories; you seek the true source of abundant life. Because God’s grandest present is our inheritance as children of God. We become joint heirs with Jesus and receive the reward of everlasting life with him forever! We will forever sing praise!
Thank you, God, for the blessings you give! The greatest is my relationship with you. I belong to your family. My joy at being your child never diminishes.
What is the greatest gift God has given you?