God gave me Jesus for Christmas!
Updated: Jul 6, 2022
In my childhood, every Christmas the children in our family perused Christmas toy catalogs from Sears, Montgomery Wards, and JC Penny's for gift ideas for ourselves. We were on a mission, a hunt for what seemed (at least in our minds) would satisfy our longings and dreams. Just what did we want for Christmas?
During the days leading to Christmas, most catalog pages were well worn, plentifully marked, and considerably dog-eared. We requested our gift choices in parent-supervised letters to Santa.
I don't remember our ever receiving precisely what we'd asked for. Yet, we didn't necessarily miss what we didn't receive. We enjoyed our gifts by playing with them often throughout the year.
Those experiences in my younger years helped me make the best of life later. In my early adulthood, I had often experienced broken promises, extreme penny pinching, and received an array of expensive peace-offerings that fell apart quite soon.
In July of 1976, not yet knowing God through a personal relationship with His Son, Jesus, but being rather desperate, I cried out loud to Him. “God, this year for Christmas I want...” I had a list! I hadn't written it down, but I knew it well. I had actively searched for something to fill the emptiness inside since I was five years old. Later in life on my own, I accumulated the emotional scars of having been treated very badly. I needed the strength that would come from only God. Growing up, my Mom taught me He could do anything! In my twenties, I truly needed some of His “anythings.”
I told God that I wanted promises never broken; a gift so expensive no one could afford it; and that would never, never wear out, get broken, or ever lose its value. Instead, that it would only increase in value! I wanted something I would love for the rest of my life and forever. I wanted peace! And deep down, I wanted to be cherished and valued.
Fast forward to December 19th of that year. I was talking with two co-workers during a pause at work. They started a conversation that became uncomfortable for me. They told me things like, “Just say 'yes' to Jesus.” And, “He died on the cross for your sins.” I couldn't imagine any sins I'd done because (I literally thought), “I didn't kill anyone; I didn't steal anything.” Yet, what they said rang true and was very convicting.
I had to get away from their words, so I yelled at them to leave me alone and darted down the hall. I told God to leave me alone, too. Then added, “But please, God, don't let me die until I do what they said.”
Three days later on December 22nd, I chose Jesus. There was no sanctimonious prayer from me. It was more like yelling. At the end of myself I called out, “Al-right God! I'll take Jesus!” Then, realizing I was talking to the Holy God, in a much more humble attitude, I told God that I gave Him myself as well as everyone I loved and everyone I hated. Then, I gave Him everything else—all the good, bad, and ugly in my messy life.
As broken as I was, He was so gracious to take me. Right then, three days before Christmas, God gave me Jesus for Christmas! In Jesus, God gifted me well beyond all my past and present great lists and dreams!
Part of the Gift, is that, though I'd read the Scriptures before and couldn't understand them; after receiving Jesus as my Savior and Redeemer God teaches me through them. He is faithful to keep helping me understand the Scriptures more, and learn more about Him and His Love. Not only that, but also God helps me obey them.
I am increasingly grateful to God for Jesus Christ. Jesus, who loves and cherishes us more than anyone possibly can! Jesus, who values us so much that He “bought us at a great price” (1 Corinthians 7:23). Jesus, who satisfies us on the inside; makes us new (2 Corinthians 5:17); and through whom God keeps all His promises (2 Corinthians 1:20), and gives us PEACE (John 14:27)!
In Jesus, my Christmas gift from God, I received everything that I asked for way back in July! Promises never broken; a gift too expensive for anyone to purchase; and that would never wear out, break, or lose worth. Rather, only increase in value! I wanted to love it now and forever! I wanted peace, and to be cherished and valued!
By grace you are saved through faith.
And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
not a result of works so that no one may boast.
Copyright by M.G. “Trudy” Granstrom Seward