What do you get the man who has everything? We often deal with that question during this season.
Between my 79-year-old dad and my wife’s 91-year-old mother, we often have trouble finding just the right gift. Truth is neither one has "everything," but they both have all that they need. Quite frankly, so do I.
Well, this year I happen to know one very special gift I am receiving just in time for Christmas. Compliments of my orthopedic surgeon, I am getting a brand new knee. Actually a different surgeon promised that I would get one before my 60th birthday some 22 years ago. This one is coming two years early.
You see, I tore the ACL and almost all of the cartilage playing basketball in the spring of 1994. The repairs made then allowed me to return to normal, even continuing to play ball into my middle 40s. But they tell me it is now "bone on bone," and I can tell it.
So, "Merry Christmas to me," a brand new knee.
A very pointed question was directed toward me recently. Seeing me wince as I struggled down the stairs someone asked, "Was it worth it? If you knew what was coming, would you still have played ball?"
Without hesitation I smiled and declared, "Without a doubt." I received great joy playing ball. More than once in my life I have said, "I would rather play basketball than to eat supper." And I like supper a lot!
Clearly the analogy breaks down quickly, but I am reminded of those believers who suffer as a result of their faith.
There is so much persecution of Christians in our world today. But if asked if it is worth it, almost unanimously you would hear them declare, "Without a doubt. They would not change what they believe and do in order to escape pain and trouble. No, following Jesus is worth all the time and effort.
I hope you believe that. Here in our land we do not face anything like what our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world face. But following Jesus can prove inconvenient or difficult at times.
Still, it is worth it all. Pray for believers around the world who face troubling times. A commit today to be faithful, no matter what comes your way. After all, Jesus is worth it all.