It is certainly true, we have learned it from childhood, there is a Santa Claus right? Make a list, check it twice, he'll find out if we are naughty or nice. Better watch out, better not pout, better not cry I'm telling you why, you remember don't you? Our parents, as we did when we became parents, spun that myth whatever way was needed to heighten the Christmas hype.
In truth, throughout our lives we have thought of God in a similar way, that is until we have experienced his presence. We love the presents, but the presence is what makes the difference between knowing about God, and knowing God himself. And when we get to really know him, we begin to see his movement in our lives every day, and we get to feel the nature of God change our hearts and our soul from the inside out. What a present!
Think about it this way for a moment. Feelings pop up on us in a variety of times that we do not expect. Maybe a song, a situation, or a person triggers emotions that we never expected. To an addict this is a real trigger to relapse. But if we have the presence, then we are able to fight through the unexpected to get to His expected outcome, peace in the midst of a storm. His presence prepares us for anything we may ever face, it is the gift that keeps on giving.
I will take His Presence Over Presents because one lasts forever, and the other lasts as long as it amuses us.The presence is felt every day in all the little things around us, some that we have been overlooking. People mention similarities of things you too are going through, you turn on the TV and hear a sermon that seems like it was made that day for you, someone quotes a scripture you were just reading, you look at your clock and the time matches your Birthday for several days in a row, and you suddenly realize God is trying to speak to you directly, what a gift?
And, if we feel that presence, we are able to far better understand and use His presents. When others hear us speak about our faith they see in us an authentication of the presence of a living and involved God.
No lists, no checking it twice, just a plain simple truth. There is no Santa Claus, but there is an awesome God!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.