There are gifts and then there are Gifts

A while ago, I paraphrased Isaiah 43:1,2 as they were balm to my soul as I recovered from Guillain Barre. “But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Michael.  he who formed you and created you to be His. Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the adversity that challenges you,  I will be with you; and when you pass through weakness and discouragement, You will not be overcome. As you struggle with infirmities, you will not be devastated. I will protect you and lift you up.” 

This verse came to mind again this week as we celebrated Christmas. I have indeed passed through a time of real adversity and know without a doubt that God was with me in the midst of the challenge which time and time kept me from discouragement. What does this have to do with Christmas? It is certainly not just the stockings hung from the mantle with care.

Many know that the Advent season focuses on expectation and think that it serves as an anticipation of Christ’s birth in the season leading up to Christmas. I think this is why Advent this year brought new meaning for me. You see, I had my own season of waiting in anticipation that I would one day move again. Jesus came saying He would become like light in the darkness. I felt His presence as well while I went through the dark time of waiting on being able to move again much less walking out of rehab two months ahead of schedule on April 25th, 2019.

So this Advent season, I waited with expectation because I was filled with joy and gratitude that like Jesus being born on Christmas, my Lord showed up in my life as He did for all of us more than 2000 years ago. Therefore, it was not about the gifts that were opened but the love that each gift represented for me. You see, I am grateful for the gift of slowly but surely getting better. The good news is my PT says she will get me back to 100%. The bad news is I will still be 67 and not 40 🙂 Therefore, the gift I am trying to give to my wife, kids, and grandkids is me being the best me I can be spiritually and physically. That way, I hope to be a person of encouragement to those around me for as long as the Lord allows. Being a light for those who are facing adversities in their own lives. My verse for 2020 will be 2 Corinthians 1:3,4 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. ” I hope in some way I this blog post has done that for some of you so like Jesus, we can all carry the light into this world.