A number of years ago, we had a string of hard years and though the years were tough, the Christmas seasons were even harder. One year we had a car accident on our way back from our single Christmas shopping day. Suddenly we had to shop for a vehicle before and after Christmas day…with half of us sick with the flu. Another season had an ugly issue that was carried way too far, making me scared for my own protection. The next Christmas, my mother died. The next…I was in a wheelchair. Seriously?? I found myself not celebrating Christmas so much as stealing myself for the entire month of December. One day that last year, I just cried out to God in frustration, “I just want a nice Christmas!!” I heard Him prompt my spirit with , “Really? THAT’S what you want?” I was immediately ashamed.
A “nice” Christmas isn’t what He even wishes for us! It wasn’t the selfishness of my request so much as the meagerness of it that caught me up short. What did I really mean by ‘nice’, anyway? That life went smoothly? That no one got sick, where everyone behaved themselves, that our possessions not only remained but increased? Really? Deep down, I wanted a pristine December where everything and everyone matched the ideal in my head.
Quietly, Jesus patiently waits. He watches us wish for a thimble of water when He has given us nothing less than the ocean of himself (Manning). How can I ask or hope for anything more? Because of salvation, He has given me everything I’ll ever need. He even throws in bountiful blessings besides. So each Christmas I need to remind myself that I can let go of my paltry expectations. He can bring into my life what He knows I need – good or bad.
So this Christmas, I want to forget the vanity of the world and remember that this season isn’t about hoping for a nice one, but knowing that He is very much alive and actively loving us each day, giving us what we need and promising His presence as our only essential present.