It was my last year of teaching. Just a few days before Christmas break, one of my students, who we will call Sarah, came into my classroom early.
After a few minutes of friendly chit-chat, I asked, “So why are you here so early?”
Sarah smiled. “It’s because I have a present for you, and I don’t want anyone else to see it. It is only for you and you alone.” She handed me a package then, but when I started to open it, she shook her head. “No. I want you to open it after everyone has gone home this afternoon!”
I smiled and assured her I would wait.
The other students began filing into the classroom then, and our school day began. I saw Sarah looking at me often throughout the day. As a matter of fact, it seemed like she couldn’t stop looking at me. I could see an internal struggle in her. She wanted to tell me what was in the package, but she also wanted me to find out by opening it. Either way, she couldn’t wait for the school day to be over.
When the last bell finally rang, Sarah impatiently stood on one foot and then the other as her classmates slowly filed out of the classroom. Finally she was alone with me, and I could tell by her smile that she might explode if I didn’t open her gift right then! I reached for the package and peeled off the paper. My mouth fell open then. It was a drawing that she had made herself, with the word “Merci” – French for “Thank you” – right across the center of the picture…
“I hope you’ll hang it up in your home!” she exclaimed.
I was so touched. Sarah could have simply said “thanks for being my teacher”, and I would have appreciated her comment. Instead, she spent a lot of time on a drawing that she then framed and gave to me. Her gift truly expressed her gratitude, and it is one that I will never forget. I still have that framed drawing in my home, and every time I see it, I am reminded that my teaching career made a difference for someone.
If Sarah went to all this trouble to thank me for being her teacher, how should we express our gratitude for Someone who did something far greater? Someone like Jesus? Remember, He did way more than any of us ever could. He willingly left Heaven to come to this earth as a tiny baby, knowing full well before He ever left that He would end up on a cross. Yet He came so willingly! Do we ever take the time to express our gratitude to Him? I’m not talking about a simple, “thanks” here. I’m talking about a “thank you” such as the one given to me by Sarah!
But wait, we can’t just draw a picture and give it to Jesus. What can we do to truly show Him our appreciation for His ultimate gift?
Remember how Sarah was so impatient for me to receive her gift? One of the best ways to show our appreciation to someone for doing something special for us is to accept that gift. And this is the one way we can truly express to Jesus how grateful we are to Him for Salvation: We can accept His gift. We can accept His salvation. We can allow Him to become the Master of our lives. We can spend time with Him every day. We can rejoice that we have our Savior ever by our side. We can read His love letters and believe His Truths. We can claim His promises. When we do, we are truly expressing our gratitude in a “Sarah” kind of way.
Aren’t you happy to have our Savior by your side? Remember: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NIV)
As Christmas approaches, why not let Jesus know how much you appreciate His gift?
In His love,
(To access the entire “Christmas With Students” devotional series, please click here.)