by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Though money didn't flow as freely as the rain that winter, my parents worked with joyful anticipation to give my brother and me a Christmas present we would never forget. They scrimped for months and then spent more than they could probably afford for a Marx electric train.
Then the day before Christmas, a cousin stationed at a nearby military base pulled into the driveway.
Opening the trunk of his car he lifted out a large heavy box. My brother and I could hardly wait to see what it was.
On Christmas morning we opened it first. Eagerly we unwrapped an expensive new electric train set. Wow! You had to pull us down off the ceiling. A Lionel train, too! Then we opened the presents from our parents--another electric train. Ho hum. And not nearly as extravagant as the one from our cousin.
Guess who’s we played with most?
Mom and Dad were hurt. The outlay for an unmarried Air Force lieutenant was nothing compared to the sacrifice my parents had made. But all we saw was the glamour of an expensive train.
We counted our parents' gift as merely a nice accessory.
Our heavenly Father spends many a disappointing Christmas. Amidst the glittering ornaments and flashing Christmas lights, the hurry and hustle of shopping and wrapping and family get-togethers, parties and presents, trees and turkeys--who really cares about His gift?
What gets more attention from us: our Father's gift of life in Jesus Christ or the quickly-wrapped department store gifts from our cousins?
Thank you, Father, for Jesus.
Thank you for the abundant life that we, His disciples, can enjoy now. Thank you for sending us a most expensive gift--your own life. Thank you!