I had an entirely different Christmas post written out, ready to publish. But after reading the following story, the Holy Spirit stopped me in my tracks and redirected my thoughts. I love it when that happens.
This excerpt is taken from Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World by Kristen Welch.
“Visiting an orphan-led home in Kenya just weeks before had turned my life upside-down. That’s where I met Vincent. I will never forget standing in Vincent’s home, which was the size of my master closet. Water dripped on my head in the dark room as he lit a candle and explained how he walked an hour to school each way and cared for his little brother because his parents were both dead. As he told us about his life, he smiled from ear to ear with joy.
‘How can you be so happy?’ I asked as I looked around at all he didn’t have.
‘I have Jesus. He is enough,’ he answered confidently.
His answer was my undoing. Because I had Jesus, too, but He wasn’t enough for me. I wanted more – more money, more stuff, more to fill the emptiness.”
I don’t know what your response was when you read that, but for me, it felt a little too close to my reality.
Christmas is upon us. In a few days, families all over the world will gather together, open presents, and celebrate the birth of the Christ child. But is He enough for us? Can He truly be all that we need?
My favorite Christmas song tells of a weary world who witnesses the birth of Christ. I think our world is pretty weary right now. I know I am. But are we acting like witnesses of Christ’s birth in this jaded world? Or are our lives demonstrating to the world that Jesus doesn’t really matter that much?
O Holy Night
O holy night, the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, a weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees
O hear the angels’ voices
O night divine
O night when Christ was born
O night divine
O night divine
Maybe today you are tired and worried. As a wife whose military husband is deployed, I am familiar with those feelings. Maybe you’re annoyed by your children or frustrated by circumstances beyond your control. Perhaps the holiday season is particularly difficult for you because of the loss of a precious loved one or because of a painful past. Maybe instead of joy, you are suffering through a period of depression. It is easy to get caught up in our own “stuff,” in our own distractions and feelings. But Jesus wants us to give our burdens over to Him. He is strong enough to bear the load.
We are all weary and sinful. What will it take for us to fall on our knees and entrust our hurts to the Lord? Are you willing to give it all over to Him? It isn’t easy for me to give up control. I like to be in command of my family, my schedule, my feelings. But this year, as I celebrate Christmas with my children, I am going to take some time to reflect on my dependence on the Lord. I know that Christ is King. But I need to reevaluate the areas of my life where He should be in control. And I’m going to give the reigns to Him. I want Jesus to be enough for me. I want Him to take away my desires for more. I don’t need more possessions or more money or more stuff or more approval. Or more anything. Because HE is enough.
Christmas is the time when we celebrate the birth of Jesus. But He is so much more than a baby born in a manger.
He is Savior.
Prince of Peace.
He is Everything.
He wants to be your Everything. Will you let Him?
May your holiday be filled with peace and joy. Merry Christmas, friends.