When Christmas arrived, just over six months after my two strokes in 2007, I was still working hard at my recovery. I was determined to get my strength back and even to run a marathon on the anniversary of my stroke in May of 2008. That recovery work took concentrated effort, but since I was learning about everything all over again, I realized I also saw Christmas through new eyes.
Before the stroke event, I had always loved the Christmas season and the blessing that it brought to my life as my family celebrated the season and we sang our favorite Christmas carols at church. I loved those days, but now I appreciate God’s gift of the baby Jesus even more. Now I realize that Christmas is and has always been about giving and no matter what success I might ever have in life, I cannot out-give God. God gave it all when His Baby Son came into the world, and when His precious servant was taken out of the world only three short decades later.
Now when I celebrate Christmas, I realize that one of the most precious gifts God has given me is more time. He gave me back my life so that I could surrender my heart to Him, and give my time, my talents, and my treasures to those I love. He offers me a chance to share any gifts I have with others, freely and lovingly, just as He gave me His gifts of life and light. Let’s all celebrate the things God has done and the incredible gifts He has shared with each of us ever since that first Christmas Day.
As you open your eyes on Christmas morning, may you be touched with every miraculous gift Christmas can bring, and may you pass those gifts along with great love to others. Merry Christmas, my Friends!
Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.
Luke 2:17-18, MSG