My son, Samuel, has been playing an iPad game this holidays called ‘Car Town Streets’. Now, I’m not normally one to play computer games, but since he was playing it (and cars is a common area of interest to us both), I started too.
Last night, when I tried playing the game. I kept encountering an error that said there was no connection. I assumed perhaps that the game server was down temporarily. When I tried again this morning, the same thing occurred. After searching on Google, I realised that the game creators had taken the server offline. This was the end of ‘Car Town Streets’!
And I had a thought (a Spirit prompting if you will), “Sometimes the best gift God gives, is to take things from us.” There is logic to this. The time spent playing the computer game could have been better spent with God, with family, etc. Always when God removes something in our lives, He wants to replace it with something infinitely better… namely, Himself.
Christmas is all about the gift that God wants to give. Jesus. But accepting this gift of Jesus always means relinquishing something from our lives. Let me explain.
Unlike other Christmas gifts which one may apply the term, ‘the more the merrier’, this gift of Jesus operates differently in this aspect: His invitation is to completely surrender our lives to His absolute Lordship. If I were to use a Christmas gift metaphor, it would mean trading every other Christmas gift for this one single gift.
Now that does not sound like a gift at all. And the way to understand why this is the greatest gift of all is to know that God, in His love, desires to give our hearts the only thing that would satisfy us completely and eternally, again, namely Himself.
There is no other gift, no other person, not riches, nor fame, nor pleasure, nor success, nor significance… nothing in this entire universe that can do that. If we try to cling on to these other ‘gifts’ while simultaneously hoping to receive God’s gracious gift, we will find ourselves frustrated. The Bible calls this idolatry and condemns it not only because it robs God of His rightful glory, but also because it robs us of our deepest joy.
All other gifts that God gives are to be subservient to His great gift of Jesus. We enjoy these from His hand, surrender when He deems it wise to remove them from us, and fight the temptation to replace Him with them.
This Christmas, God desires to give us the greatest gift of all, and to do so, He may very well have to take away things from us. Blessed Christmas!