“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people.”Titus 2:11
I cannot believe 20 years have passed since receiving my favorite Christmas present. I was ten years old when my parents gave me a gift that I still keep.
A few days before Christmas, my parents picked up my siblings and me from our grandparents. When we arrived home, my uncle was waiting for us in the driveway. After we were inside, he began to bring garbage bags of wrapped gifts. He continued retrieving items from his car for the next 10 minutes. I realized while we were at my grandparents’ home, my parents and uncle were wrapping our Christmas presents at an undisclosed location.
I remember the excitement I experienced as the gifts just kept coming. Everything was wrapped and clouded in mystery, so my anxious mind began to wonder: “Which one is mine?” “What is in this box?” “What did they get for me?”
All questions looped around my mind as the presents just kept coming. Though it’s been 20 years, I can still remember the presents laid out in the living room. What stood out most was the number of large packages.
When my uncle left, I sifted through the large gifts firsts to see if any were mine. Finally, I came across one with my name on it. With only a few days before Christmas, I wondered what that gift might be. I was certain it was not anything I requested. My parents conditioned all four of us children not to expect what we asked for. We knew it would take an angel from heaven’s appearance to move the hand of my parents in fulfilling a Christmas wish.
When Christmas day arrived, I woke up early and ran to the living room. I went to war with the wrapping paper and box, victoriously immerging with a brand-new Yamaha piano-keyboard. I was a happy kid for days, months, and years. That piano set a course for my life I could not imagine. It has opened up opportunities I never dreamed and is an integral part of what I do every day.
However, there is a gift that I remember even earlier in childhood and more significant. My mother gave it to me, and I remember the moment so clearly. We were in our kitchen when I learned about Jesus, how I was a sinner, and how He died to pay for my sins. I remember her praying with me, and that gift has transformed my life and eternity.