For the past week I’ve been fighting with God. I mean honestly, add it to my resume, I have been having a legitimate week-long argument with the Creator of the Universe. Why? Well, things weren’t going how I needed them to go of course.
The worst part is my usual Christmas spirit was nowhere to be found. I was angry. Bitter. Grumpy. Sure, I put on a good face for the kiddos and we are happily on day 6 of our 12 Days of Christmas. But, being completely transparent here, I was dying of bitterness on the inside.
God would work as He planned to do, despite my frequent fit throwing and negotiations, and things worked out. The reason for my “bah humbugs” has disappeared. This morning I woke up, so excited, so happy, so ready to celebrate Christmas with my family.
Can you smell that burnt rubber smell?
That’s the proverbial breaks screeching.
Have I become this person? The person so wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the season that I legitimately became Scrooge because things weren’t going how I felt that I needed them to go?
I try to imagine the world before Christ. It’s hard. People lived for hundreds of years. Men were swallowed by whales. Forty years in a desert. Naked ladies bathing on rooftops and Kings being a little less than noble because of it. Giant floating boat full of every animal you can imagine.
Minus the dinosaurs. Those homies needed to go.
The constant themes throughout the world before Christ … Groaning. Longing. Waiting.
Groaning in sin.
Longing for hope.
Waiting on Christ.
God, why are we in the desert? What is the plan? Do you even remember us?
Lord, this whale stomach smells awful. I’m sorry I ran in fear. Will you protect me?
Father, they think I’m crazy because I’m building this dumb boat. You better have a plan.
God, I’m so sorry. My life is wrecked with sin and innocent blood is on my hands.
From the beginning the prophecy of Christ is being told. But when you’re eating manna in the desert for forty years you don’t really get what the plan is. You may not even trust the plan. Chances are likely you’re just angry, arguing with God, and not at all excited about decorating your Christmas tree.
Because you’re missing the point.
I missed the point. Even though I had my quiet time every morning and read my She Reads Truth Advent study. Even though I know that Christmas is the time to really, truly reflect on the greatness of the birth of Christ.
I don’t know what the purpose of the past two months of my life were. I don’t know why God needed them to go as they did. I’m not sure why He didn’t smite me after a whole week of my prayers nearly filled with angry cuss words. I’m not yet sure what I will glean from this overall.
But here’s what I know right now …
Christmas is not my beautiful, fresh Christmas tree.
Christmas is not how many awesome gifts I can score for my kids on Amazon.
Christmas is not the awesome Old Navy sweater sales.
Christmas is not the cookies.
It is not the movies, the Bing Crosby songs, the hope for a white Christmas, the bundling, the lights, the cinnamon scented … everything.
I was caught up. I was caught up in the frustration of present circumstances and it kept me from enjoying my idea of the holiday. The wrong version.
Christmas is hope. On a cold night in the middle of nowhere, in the company of angels and animals, He arrived. It wasn’t glamorous. It wasn’t pristine. There was no epidural. He likely screamed bloody murder after He took that first breath – like they all do. He was infantile and small. Mary held the King of Kings in her arms. Joseph, terrified by the horror of childbirth, sat back and realized he was the earthly father of the Heavenly King.
The groaning ceased.
The longing was over.
Redemption had come.
Forty years in the desert finally had meaning. Three days in the belly of a whale were rich with purpose. Our sin was defeated. Our pain soon over. The prophecy fulfilled.
My heart is joyful that the Lord intervened on my behalf. That He went before me and knew the solution before the problem ever came about. I’m thankful that I get to sit around the tree with my family a week from today, peacefully knowing that I will be going home shortly after.
I know I will often forget that the perfect Christmas decorations aren’t the purpose.
I know I will still hawk Amazon like a weirdo looking for the best Christmas deals.
I know I will wrestle with God time and time and time again.
I am human. A human wrecked by sin.
But I am Redeemed.
Prophecy has been fulfilled.
Merry Christmas, Friends!