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Presents or Presence?

At this special time of year, it seems everywhere there are reminders of this glorious season of celebration.

And in the midst of the chaos happening all around us in our world, we still have so much to praise God for, for He is truly good at every moment, in every way! Just listening to the news these days can be very unsettling, but we know in whom we have believed, and we can look at life and at our circumstances from God’s point of view. We can see, as children of the Most High, that our hope remains firm. We know that our security comes from above.

In this season of shopping for that perfect gift for each of those on our list, I am reminded of how we can easily become more concerned about His presents — His gifts — than we are in His presence! But, obviously, without His presence we could not possibly be recipients of His presents.

Often we as Christians can get more caught up in an emphasis on the gifts of the Spirit (prophesy, knowledge, discernment, signs and wonders, etc.) than on the blessing of His everlasting presence, where His companionship and His constancy are our highest joy.

As we think about all the activities this season brings, let’s still take some moments to enumerate what we have already been given in Him:

• His steadfast, unconditional love

• His faithfulness

• His covenant relationship with us

• His continual guidance in our lives

• His justice, strength, and authority demonstrated on our behalf

• His path that He has given us the privilege to walk in

So let us reflect at this Christmas season with gratitude because of who He is and what He has already accomplished in our lives. Remember, where there is no challenge, there is no change! And His purpose is always greater than our difficulty.

Remember the promises He gives us in Isaiah 55:12-13:

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.

And Psalm 16:11 encourages us all the more:

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Of course, we ourselves have experienced great challenges in so many areas of our lives this past year, but nevertheless, the Lord has been greater! Just looking into the faces of our dear little great-grandchildren (Everly, who is soon to be one, and Caeden, who is almost three), we are reminded of the redeeming promises of our Father and all of the tomorrows He holds in His hands!

Blessings and prayers be on you this day and every day. We love and appreciate you and enjoy hearing from you. May you have the merriest of Christmases, thoroughly enjoying His presence!

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