These words have been ringing through my mind today as Christmas draws near, and it’s more than the obvious reason that I’ve heard this Christmas carol on the radio or that Christmas is only five days away. Much more. God has been readjusting my vision this Christmas.
Christmas 2011 will be a different Christmas for us. It’s the first Christmas that we won’t have both of our children with us. For the past 23 years, the four of us have always been together to celebrate. We have our traditions, our special things that we do together as a family to welcome Christmas Day. They’re very much a part of what makes Christmas Christmas for me. Maybe too much so?
As many of you know, our son Jesse is on a walk across America to raise money for the burn center at Riley Hospital for Children where he was a patient in June of 2010. Three months ago when Jesse decided to do this walk, I thought surely he couldn’t be meaning to miss Thanksgiving, his birthday and Christmas. Could he? When I asked Jesse this over the phone, he said, “Mom, how is that going to look if I fly home for Christmas when people are sponsoring me, and I’m supposed to be walking across America?”
The reality that I knew was coming but had been avoiding thinking about had arrived. With the certainty that Jesse would not be home and possibly not Amber either as she now has her fiancé and his family to consider for Christmas plans, I was forced to look at where I was getting my real joy for Christmas from. Was my joy coming from my perfect plans all going according to schedule, or was it from the gift of Jesus in my life?
As I have had to adjust my perception of celebrating Christmas, God has been shifting my focus to where it should be. The priceless gift of having Jesus as my King is coming clearly into focus. To know that He is with me each day in the nitty-gritty good-and-bad that makes up my life is what God is showing me I should be celebrating.
I’m wondering what your Christmas will look like. Maybe you’re struggling through a painful divorce. Perhaps you’re hooked up to a chemo IV. Or maybe you’re blessed this year to have all of your family with you. Whatever your life is or wherever you are this year, Jesus is there. And that’s Something to celebrate.
O Come let us adore Him …