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Giving Out of Your Nothing

Mail your packages early so the post office can lose them in time for Christmas. —Johnny Carson

There’s a hundred reasons you might be saying, I don’t have anything left to give this Christmas.” If that’s where you think you are, what’s your reason?

  • Maybe it’s financial. It could even be that you’ve recently received notice at work. They’re downsizing, and you got some kind words and a pink slip just in time for the holidays.
  • Maybe it’s material. You’ve had to tell your kids not to expect as much for Christmas this year. You’ve talked about downsizing the home, and they might have to move away from their school and friends.
  • Maybe it’s emotional. Perhaps your marriage is crumbling, but you’re supposed to be happily married this time of year so you’re pretending on the outside.

Sometimes, we stress about what to give the person who has everything. But what do you do when you’re the person with nothing? The biblical account of the first Christmas offers hope and perspective. A quick review of the key players in the Christmas story reveals that most of them had nothing to give.

  • A husband without a home.
  • An innkeeper without a room.
  • A young mother with nothing to cloth her just-born son.

But they discovered that in giving what they did have, they could find joy as they found themselves in God’s masterful plan.

And he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Paul realized his emptiness was an opportunity to experience the fullness of Christ and share that power with others. Is it possible that this was God’s intent all along—that His Son should be given to the world through those who had nothing without Him?

Dear Lord, I thank You for all I am: Weak and empty on the outside; powerful and full on the inside. Just as You used Joseph, an innkeeper, and a pregnant young woman, live through me in a way that brings Jesus and joy to the world around me! Amen.

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