This week, everybody in the Boekhoff household is fighting the stomach flu. The funny thing about illness is that it seems to bring so much into perspective.
As I wipe puke from the carpet, I think about the sacrifices that I never imagined I’d make for my kids. Like holding a puke bucket, wiping a dirty bottom, going without sleep, enduring the whining, complaining and crying (usually at dinner time from my picky eater), and let’s not even talk about the money (if only they could stay in one shoe size for a couple of months). Most parents wonder at some point, why, oh, why do I do all this?
Every parent knows the answer—love (and lots of it). We keep rooting and cheering and cleaning and cooking and wiping because of a love greater than it all. And yet, even with our love we cannot love them perfectly.
I’m selfish. Sometimes, I whine, complain and cry myself.
Who has perfect love, except for God? Matthew 7:11 says:
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
That was the perspective that illness brought to me this Christmas. I love my kids, but God loves them more. My husband loves me, but God loves me more. He has already brought me the greatest gift that He could offer—Himself.
Jesus (God in the flesh) literally died so that my sins won’t separate me from God. Because of His sacrifice I can live in heaven forever with Him.
All the sacrifices I make for my family can’t compare to what Jesus has already done for me. And all the gifts under the tree can’t compare to the real meaning of Christmas—the coming of a baby boy who is still changing the world one life at a time.
Do you know how much He loves you?
Dear Lord, help me to live every day as if it’s Christmas and I have just opened the best gift in the whole world. The gift of eternal life with You. In Jesus’ name, amen.