I once had a dear Christian friend who was gifted, educated, intelligent and beautiful. She was all set to shoot straight to the top of her profession. However, she was plagued by her past and her heart was desperate to be loved. So, rather than searching for God to find love, she compromised her values to find it. Her heart was abused by her choices. It was painful to watch. She was so desperate for love that she compromised over and over again. Each time I saw it, I wanted to take her by the hand and lead her away. It broke my heart to see someone so gifted waste her life chasing pain! I wanted so much more for her.

I suspect God feels this way about me when He sees me make choices that compromise my relationship with Him. It’s a horribly painful path. He is love. He is Our Father and the source of ALL good things. The desire we have to give good to each other pales in comparison to God’s desire to give good to us. Our perfect Father gives us gifts which defy our imperfect imagination! Jesus said: “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11) To ask God for His gifts, we must be close to Him. Our sin takes us far away. However, when we are completely surrendered to God, He fills us with goodness we will NEVER find in the world–like consistent love, peace and joy. Once we’ve experienced His goodness, the worst pain we ever experience is being separated from Him. Heartbreak from–failed relationships, death, financial failure, bad grades or anything else–doesn’t even compare to the emptiness of walking away from God. His love is so powerful.

Oh, the unimaginable treasures He unwraps for us when we surrender to His love! This Christmas, as we choose gifts for those we love, may we remember the treasures God placed inside us when accepted His gift of salvation. His gifts are greatest!