We are getting close to that time of the year of gift giving and receiving. Do you like to give gifts? Or would you rather be on the receiving end? I hate getting gifts. I am very simple and do not like a lot of stuff. So to get a gift just because is not for me. Giving gifts equally stresses me out unless I know that person well or they give me a list from which to work from. Whew! I am already getting stressed and it is the middle of September!

Mark 14:3-9

There is a story in the Bible that I love. It involves Jesus and Mary of Bethany. Mary wanted to show her love for Jesus so she took an alabaster flask of very expensive perfume and anointed Him. The disciples grumbled that she wasted her money with this lavish gift. But Jesus said she had done a beautiful thing to Me. Jesus delighted in Mary’s gift because it came from the heart.

Jesus is like that with us, too. We may not have a huge bankroll or be very talented, but what we do have is a heart. Jesus looks at the heart, not at the size of the gift.

Prayer = Gift

You may be at at the grocery store and running late when your brother calls. He just lost his job and needs a listening ear. Jesus knows all you want to do is get in the store and get out, but you say a little prayer and choose to give a gift by sacrificing your plans and be there for your brother. Surprisingly, at the end of the call he asks about how you are doing. You get a gift, too!

Your son is sick and your mania is ramping up. He cannot go to school because of his high fever. You really have a lot of energy to spend and need to get out of the house but are now stuck home with your son. You pray and decide to put him to bed and release your energy on cleaning the house. You get two gifts, a clean house and a calmer mind.

I may not be good with buying gifts at the mall during Christmas time because I obsess and get anxious, but I can send little gifts with a big heart. For instance: send a card through the mail, send an encouraging text, be a listening ear, choose not to complain and look for a positive comment instead.

What can you do? The possibilities are endless. Praying to Jesus will give you the strength to offer up your gift even if you have a mental illness.  You have gifts to offer, too.