Christmas: The Season of Giving. But What Should I Give?

About two weeks ago, I came across this article about a college student who volunteered at a hospital and one of her patient is a little girl undergoing an operation (I can’t recall exactly but I think it was chemotherapy.) The college student wanted to cheer this girl up, so she asked the little girl what she was grateful for. The little girl’s answer included her mother, about how she will come to the girl’s attention at any moment she needed help. And fresh air, that she can breathe it and not being able to breathe freely during her time of sickness made her realise this.

The article really made me think and rethink what I should be grateful about. I thought about it and in the end wrote down in my journal: Parents, Family, Friends. I didn’t reflect on anything specific that day.

5 December 2016

We had combined Oikos (cell group) and Kenny shared about thanksgiving with reference to Thanksgiving dinner that the Westerners had just recently celebrated. He divided on the things that we can be grateful for into 4 different groups:
1) Who He is.
2) Things that He has given to me.
3) Things that He prevented me from receiving (or things that He gave me, but at a time later than when we wanted it.)
4) Things He will give us.

1) Who He is.
What character of God are we grateful for?
For me, one of it is His mercy. His mercy towards my sins, His mercy towards my unfaithfulness, His mercy towards my reluctance to give in to temptations.
“A thousand times I’ve failed, still Your mercy remains. Should I stumble again, I’m caught in Your grace.” – All For Love by Hillsong
Through His mercy, I am slowly developing the courage to stand back up when I fall, and to keep trying my best for Him. Whenever I feel undeserving of any blessings, His mercy reminds me that it is who He is, and not what we did that determines all.
“Not because of who I am, but because of what You’ve done. Not because of what I’ve done, but because of who You are.” – Who am I by Casting Crowns

2) Things that He has given me.
This is the most intuitive out of the four. If someone gives you something, you say thank you. Simple as that.
I am extremely grateful that He has introduced me to a certain someone (let’s just call this person A). Not related to BGR or anything, but truly I can honestly say, if I had not known A, all my decisions since that day would have been different. I would be in a different community than where I am now. A has been my pillar of support throughout my JC life and so have A’s friends. We laugh together, get annoyed together and sing together (oops). I spent 1 month after graduating from JC working at a company recommended by A and another 3 months working on a huge project which I wouldn’t have known if not for A. I have been shaped greatly through A, so thank you God for A. And thank you A. (Jangan baper)

3) Things that He prevented me from receiving (or things that He gave me, but at a time later than when we wanted it.)
Maybe we wanted that cool job with an awesome pay, or that really pretty female friend as our courting partner, or maybe to go to that school just next to your house so you can wake up at 7 everyday, but too bad, He said NO. It is indeed difficult to face rejections, especially when those rejections seem final. But God sees the bigger picture. If He holds the universe in His hand, He probably sees in 11 spatial and 2 time dimentions.
I wanted to go to SAJC after my secondary education. My main reason is because the Indonesian student population among all the Junior Colleges was highest in SAJC. I got 11-2 points for ‘O’ levels. The cut-off for SAJC was 9. I thought I got quite a good chance. My mother thought it would be safer to put other JC with lower cut-off points just to be safe, you know. I put Catholic Junior College. Long story short, on that fateful day, at 6am, I remember my phone vibrated. It was a text, telling me I am to report to CJC 2 days later. I remember so clearly, I went back to sleep till about 10, then researched where the heck CJC is actually located and what colour is the uniform and what CCAs they have. Yea, God did not give me SAJC, but in CJ, my time was simply enriching. We formed a cell group which met up weekly (although it kinda died nearing ‘A’ Levels because everyone was too busy), I met A, I got into the school’s dance club, my class is also a very supportive class. The school is also so conveniently located on a bus route directly linked to Upper Thomson for food, and Orchard Rd for hangouts. I truly am grateful to be in CJC.

4) Things He will give to us.
It’s important to have faith. If you want something, pray about it and work for it. God is a loving father. Just ask, and you shall receive (the answer to that request) hehehehe
This one is a little personal so I shall leave it blank.

So friends, if you do not know what to give for Christmas, give thanks. It is the best Birthday present for Jesus.

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