Recently, during dinner, some friends and I were reminiscing over the joys of parenthood. Ok, I’m being facetious. We were swapping horror stories --- “Remember the trip to the ER because he [I’m protecting the innocent J] ran laps so often in PE that he thought he could do it with his eyes closed and ran into the cement wall?” “Remember the time she ate the Soft Scrub?” “How about when he swallowed a quarter and had to have it surgically removed.” “Or the time, no the two times, she rolled off the bed and broke her arms.” We had a lot of good laughs and several “thank you Jesus” moments as each of us were shocked but grateful we hadn’t been locked up for child endangerment and that our children were still alive. Despite us.
Notwithstanding the hundreds of “hair standing parenting moments” we experienced, the one thing that was made resoundingly clear was the fact that we loved our children. We loved them more than there are stars in the sky, more than Mickey Mouse loves Minnie, more than fish love water.
So imagine how much the God in heaven must love us, His children? To love us so much that He’d send us His son, Jesus, who was far more wonderful, more special, and more perfect than anyone of us or anyone of our children could ever be. He sent us His son so that in spite of our sinful, filthy, wretched ways, we might be saved.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. (Luke 2:4-8)
God, because of His infinite love, grace and mercy provided us another chance at eternal life. He gave us the greatest gift of all – His son Jesus Christ, who was born in a lowly manger, who died a criminal’s death, and who then rose and ascended to heaven to intercede on our behalf until we are united with Him in glory.
I know for some this Christmas season may not be a joyous one. Maybe you’ve lost a loved one or perhaps your health is failing. Maybe your finances are tight or you’re feeling all alone. But despite the sadness, the grief, the confusion, the hurt or the sorrow, you still have reason to rejoice. You still have reason to give thanks. If God never does another thing for you or for me, it wouldn’t matter because He’s already given us the most incomprehensible, the most undeserving, the most amazing gift and for this we should be forever beholden to Him. And this gratitude should lead to our continual praise and our outpouring of love.
Do you hear what I hear? Listen closely. It’s the sound of my heartfelt adoration and worship for the gift of baby Jesus, the gift of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the gift of eternal life. I pray that you’ll join me in rejoicing the Christmas morning as you recount the goodness of God. And if the clouds are causing your ‘praise barometer’ to be out of focus today, then simply thank Him for Who He is and for the gift of life eternal that’s free for you and for me.
From My Heart to Yours,
Bible Verse: He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32, NIV
- Make a list of at least 10 things for which you’re grateful for. Count your many blessings, name them one by one.
- Before the gift wrapping and cooking and baking, spend time alone in worship. If you’re unsure how to start, put on some praise and worship music. Grab a devotional. Open your Bible and read some psalms of praise (Isaiah 25:1, Habakkuk 3:17-18, Psalm 138, Psalm 100). I know you’re super busy, but just give it a try. At least 10 minutes to start. I promise it’ll be worth it.