What Can I Give God for Christmas?
Christmas after having children of my own has taken on a new depth of meaning to me. As a parent, seeing Jesus as God’s child colors Christmas in new light. God loved Jesus like I love my children, but perfectly and with more depth. God didn’t hesitate to share His child with a broken world. He sent Jesus to us, knowing that Jesus would suffer because of it. He knew that Jesus would be misunderstood, betrayed, mocked, and ultimately suffer things we can’t even begin to understand. God is asking me to share my children with a broken world. He is asking me to believe Him with their lives. We stay on earth instead of going straight to heaven when we are saved so that we can be a light in this broken world. In essence, we stay behind in the hopes that we entice others to Jesus so He can save their souls. It’s our purpose, and it’s also our children’s purpose. To shine bright, there has to be some exposure to the darkness. That means that as lights my children will suffer ridicule, misunderstanding, betrayal, and they will definitely be mocked. My mother’s heart wants to hide them away from this as much as I can, and that isn’t wrong. What I need to realize is that no matter what I try to do, I cannot keep them from a broken world, and it wouldn’t be right for me to do so. It would actually stunt their growth. God wants to give me peace in exchange for my belief that He will take care of them, that He is in charge of all their days and every circumstance and holds their eternity in His infinitely capable hands.
When I reflect on my life, the things that have taught me the best lessons about God have been hard things. There is no growth without them. I don’t want my children to suffer; I want them to lead perfect little lives with no pain. I also want them to love, have peace, joy and purpose, and those things aren’t produced without suffering and trial. What I really want for my children is for them to lead lives that matter for the Kingdom; I want them to see eternity as reality. I can’t manufacture that in a setting that I create. I have to trust God to bring the right rain and the right amount of sunshine. I have to trust that He knows how to till the soil better than I do. As their mother, I get the beautiful gift of participation in their lives, but I can’t keep them from the rain and the tilling. If they get only sunshine, they won’t grow. If they are never in the darkness, they won’t shine.
I have been pondering what I could give God this Christmas. I realize that sounds a little funny because God doesn’t need anything from me, but I desperately want to bring Him joy. I think that what He would most like from me this Christmas is for me to believe Him. He’s been whispering this quietly to me for some time, that He wants me to go deeper with my trust, which really means that He wants me to see Him better. He’s been whispering to me in my worry. Specifically, my worry for my children. I love them so much that it hurts. Whoever said that being a Mom is like watching your heart walk around outside of your body was incredibly and irritatingly right. It’s a beautiful kind of pain, and as they grow up, you have less and less control gets farther out of reach. It can be so hard for me to let go because I feel responsibility as their protector. While God’s whispering to me in my worry, He is letting me see my confusion. I’m not their protector, God is. He has been since before they were born. He wants me to see Him better so that I understand my role more in light of His. He wants me to quit wasting time worrying about what might happen, and what I can prepare and get ahead of and realize that He is already ahead of it. He just wants me to really believe all those things I already know are true about Him. It needs to transfer from head knowledge to heart knowledge. I feel safe in saying that He is probably whispering something to your heart as well. What do you need to transfer from head knowledge to heart knowledge?
“For this child I prayer, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore, I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.”
1 Samuel 127&28