I am one of those, decorate-before-thanksgiving-just-means-celebrate-a-little-longer, people. I ABSOLUTELY love Christmas time and all things Christmas-y.
I like everything to be planned just so. I like everything to fall in place. I don’t like when my plans are ruined by sickness or circumstances. But let’s be honest. Christmas is rarely “perfect.”
Everyone has their own idea of what a perfect Christmas looks like, so different things can cause Christmas to not look so perfect. But plans change. Sometimes you burn the cookies. Scorch the hot chocolate. The Christmas lights go out, the gifts don’t get there in time, you run out of money, bills are due and take precedence. Sickness wrecks everything. Sometimes families don’t get to spend time together. Sometimes loved ones pass on. Sometimes heartache is present more than joy. Sometimes Christmas is not the most wonderful time of the year.
Every year, I pray that things will go the way I want them to. So Christmas will live up to the idea I have in my head.
Ouch. I celebrate the real reason for Christmas. We read the Bible story before we open presents. We realize it is better to give than receive, but I wonder sometimes if our hearts really grasp that the holiday doesn’t matter so much as the reason behind it. I mean, we acknowledge that Jesus is the reason for the season. But then we get so upset when things don’t go as planned.
If we are holding the true meaning of Christmas in our hearts, it cannot be ruined.
That hit me so hard. As a Christian, I’ve accepted God’s gift to the world. Nothing can take that away. Nothing can ruin that. Changed plans can’t hinder the fact that Jesus came for me.
He came to heal my sickness. Not just the kind that ruins Christmas plans. Sin sickness.
He came to give me everlasting joy. Not just the temporary joy of the season. Lasting joy found only in knowing Him.
He came to bear my grief. To carry my sorrows.
I began praying early that the Lord would give me a Christmas song. I talked with preachers, scoured sermons, looked for clever quotes. I tried writing verses and hooks. Nothing came together. Instead, He gave me a song about a single little word. In the most recognizable, most quoted scripture in the Bible.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.John 3:16
You see, God had everything planned just so, too. The prophecy had been foretold. The journey was so long. The stable was so cold. But still, He came as planned. God’s own son became the son of man.
So much mercy.
So much grace.
So much love.
I looked up that word, -so-.
So – in this way. No more on this fashion.
God loved us SO. In what way? That He gave His only begotten Son. He had to die a horrible death because of MY horrible sin. No one else could ever or will ever love in this fashion. Only God.
That’s why Christmas can’t be ruined. I’m loved perfectly by a God who knew everything about me and still chose me. What greater gift? What greater love? He understands the pain we feel. He chose pain so He could heal our pain.
He offers this gift to whoSOever. You can come to Him in your brokenness, grief, sin, heartache, anger, bitterness. He wants you. Calvary proves that.
So. Christmas may not be perfect this year. It may just be an extension of the horrible year you’ve had so far. It may be shrouded in grief. Your plans may be turned upside down and inside out.
But Christmas will never be ruined.
I’m not trying to diminish the disappointment you may face in this season. The deep sadness you may feel. God understands even that, too. I want each of my readers to have a wonderfully, merry Christmas.
When it’s not merry. When there’s no mirth. When the lights and sounds have lost their wonder. He’s still wonderful.
When you don’t have the answers, He’s still Counsellor.
When you need a miracle, He’s still the mighty God.
When you have no family, no friends, He’s still the everlasting Father.
When your world is shattered and there is nothing but chaos, He’s still the Prince of peace.
All because God loved us….so.
So much love, how can it be? That God would so love even me.