No Greater Gift

Reading: 3 John
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 4, NIV).
We used to struggle with what to get mom and dad for Christmas. It’s not that they had everything. There was always one more gadget that we could have purchased, destined to gather dust on some shelf. After my mother’s death I got more use out of the blender my brother had bought her one Christmas than she ever did (it’s still going more than 25 years later). The truth is, my parents needed very little. And they wanted even less.
My parents weren’t demonstrative types. In some ways that characteristic made it easier to identify those things that they really valued. I know they valued who I became much more than they valued any of the gifts I ever gave them.
When I graduated from seminary my mother was recovering from a broken leg. There was no way she was going to be able to make the 500 mile trip to see me graduate. I was also the class valedictorian—a rare privilege since I was the first woman in the history of the school to be chosen. My dad was needed at home so I didn’t expect to see him either.
Just as we were to walk up the aisle to begin the ceremony, someone handed me a note and told me that my father had just come in with my pastor and his wife. The note was from my mother. I opened it and in the note she told me how proud she was of me. How I got down that aisle is still a mystery to me. My eyes were so full of tears that I could hardly see where I was going.
Later I was told that my dad had cried all through my address. He was a man of few words but the tears said it all.
I think I gave them both a good gift that evening. They certainly gave me one. For them to know that one of their children was walking in the truth was a blessing that could never be measured in dollars and cents.
For those of you who have children, and for all of those who still have parents, remember what the best gifts are this Christmas season. God sent His Son, the perfect example of One Who not only walked in truth, but WAS the truth. As children there is no better gift we can give than to walk in truth. As parents there is no greater thing that we can praise in our children, and be grateful for, than when they walk in truth.


  1. Just beautiful and heartfelt, Lynda. Thank you.

  2. Wonderful post, Lynda! How special that your Dad was able to make it to your graduation - what a beautiful memory! Family IS so important. Looking forward to cherishing time with extended family over the holidays. Merry Christmas!


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