What Can I Give?
By Beth Mabe Gianopulos
Monday, November 28, 2016
On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Matthew 2:11 NIV
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:37-39 NIV
Sometimes I wonder what gifts I have to offer God. When I hear a singer with a beautiful voice, or read the works of a writer that writes powerful books, I feel like I am not enough.
As Christmas approaches, I have wondered, what gifts do I have to offer the Savior of the world?
As I have prayed and thought about this, I feel like God has been whispering,
Your presence is the best present.
When I traveled to Uganda earlier this year, I briefly met a young man and we connected because he wants to be a pastor. We chatted for a few minutes, and I gave him a picture of my family that had my contact information on the back.
Months later, I received a message from this young man through Facebook. Somehow, despite having no electricity or running water, he was able to gain internet access. He had kept the picture that I gave him, and he messaged me.
He told me he is studying hard to reach his dreams to spread the word of God. Then he asked how his brothers and sister in the USA were doing. He specifically mentioned each of my children by name.
In that moment, I realized what God had been whispering. The greatest gift that I can give to God and to others is to just show up – my presence is the best present.
When I just showed up at one school and met one boy, I mattered so much to him that he cherished a picture of my family for months. My presence showed him that he mattered. My presence gave him hope. My presence was a gift to him.
When the wise men visited Jesus, they brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to honor the King. The greatest gift we can give to Jesus this Christmas season is the gift of us. Jesus told his followers that the greatest commandment is to,
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:37-39
Jesus wants us to show up, be present, and love the ones that stand before us. This Christmas, Jesus is whispering to you,
Your presence is the best present.
When you feel like you have nothing to offer Jesus, remember that your presence is the best present. You are enough. Jesus loves you, and the best gift that you can give to your King is to love God and love others.
Jesus, thank you for grace and salvation. When I am down, remind me that I am enough. Remind me that my presence is the best gift that I can give to you and to others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
© 2016 by Beth Mabe Gianopulos. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Monday, 28 November 2016.