So here’s the thing… my Christmas plans almost always seem to fall short.
No really, even when I try to keep them minimal, remove all the distractions, focus on the real meaning… it never works out.
Start Christmas shopping early and make efforts to find meaningful gifts = last minute shopping and waiting for Christmas Eve package deliveries all the while hoping that somehow the gifts will fit the recipient. How did this happen? Not quite sure and yet here I am.
Welcome the advent season with a new devotional for the family each evening to focus our hearts and prepare for the celebration of Christ’s birth = somewhere around day 8 the nightly practice was lost and by day 15 we gave up on playing catch up. How can focusing on the real meaning of Christmas be so difficult?
Help each child purchase gifts for siblings as they learn the joy of giving gifts to one another = a total melt down when one sister returned home from school with a wonderful toy that another sister did not receive. Why is it so hard for us to be happy for other people when instead we compare and get bad attitudes?
Just when I feel my Christmas is going all wrong I realize I’m in good company because the first Christmas seemed to go all wrong too.
–> A baby to be born to a virgin betrothed to be married? Well that doesn’t look good.
–> Nearing the time for birth and the young mother has to travel far from home? That can’t be right, traveling so close to birth isn’t ideal and likely not desired.
–> Mother in labor, baby on the way and there isn’t room for them anywhere other than a stable? You’ve got to be kidding me!
Far from perfect and yet completely perfect. Perfectly according to the Father’s plan.
The Christmas story looks like a mess from a human perspective and yet…
it wasn’t at all.
Maybe our messed up Christmas filled with chaos, failed efforts, bad attitudes and broken plans isn’t messed up after all. Maybe we are in the perfect spot for God to work in us.
A little encouragement for you and for me tonight as Christmas day approaches that if your plans fall short, or worse, if everything seems to fall apart take heart in knowing that God meets us in the places of plans that fall apart, unmet expectations and bad attitudes. Know that His perfection is not dependent upon ours or even our view of what is perfect. Our Immanuel– our God with us- meets us right where we are and draws us near to Him.
So, whatever your December has looked like and whatever your Christmas day will be I’m praying that you see and experience God with you!