A Ruined Christmas.

“That they may know that I am the Lord.”

The phrase is said over and over and over again in the Old Testament- often in the middle of times in which people are being afflicted, broken and bruised.

“A bruised reed He will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench.”- Isaiah 42:3

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I have lit the same candle every morning this week, and let it burn until we turn the lights out and attempt to head to bed. Attempt to head because coughing and crying and breathing treatments and vomit and seizures and general discomfort have basically taken over our home.

I keep waiting for the candle to be quenched; the wick to stop lighting.

“Even the darkness will not be dark to You.”- Psalm 139:12

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I would say our family has at least a 70:30 record for game plans and itineraries. Every now and then, we make plans to go somewhere or do something and the thing actually happens. More often than not, we are either calling someone to say, “I’m sorry, but ____”

(You can fill in the blank with someone is sick, something new has come up, we are at Children’s).

I wanted this Christmas to be different- and maybe it will. But here we sit, the 21 of December, no sleep and weary selves, just waiting to see if we are going to have to make that call.

“The thrill of Hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn… fall on your knees.”

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Christmas can’t be ruined.

The very nature of Christmas- the coming of Christ to this broken and sick world- says it all. When Mary received news from the angel, Gabriel, that she- a virgin- was going to carry the Savior of the world- the words she spoke but initially and thereafter should speak volumes to us:

“How will this happen since ____”- Luke 1:34

Can anyone else relate?

Does anyone else have a situation, a health issue, a disease, a financial problem, a family member, a detail in which God is saying He is going to work and you are simply saying, “How?” based on your own finite, limited lenses?

You can’t ruin Christmas- unless what you are calling Christmas isn’t Christmas at all.

Friends, God’s promise is always found in Himself.

It’s not found in the traditions we formulate, the decorations we display, the presents we give or receive- the expectations we set up.

He is the Promise.

I read a post from a woman of God this morning who said it this way:

“Expectation can’t be based on anything that we may want, but rather what God wants for us. Exchanging my will for His and then expecting Him to accomplish and fulfill His plan” (Rhonda Weeks)

This changes everything.

When the angel reminded Mary that the, “How” wasn’t based on her own performance or humanity or vision but on God’s- game-changer.

Suddenly, Mary was able to say- with extreme confidence-

“You will fulfill Your promise to me…my soul magnifies the Lord” (Luke 1:45, 46)-

not based on her own understanding but based on Him.

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I don’t know what the rest of today, tomorrow, this week holds.

I don’t know if we will be spending time with family in Birmingham then traveling north to have a Tennessee Christmas… or camping out here or right smack in the middle of Children’s hospital…and I don’t have to know. What I do know is this:

I can’t ruin Christmas. You can’t ruin Christmas. No matter what- thanks be to God- Christ has come.

The healthy don’t need a doctor, the sick do. (Mark 2:17)

Jesus- God with us.

My soul magnifies the Lord.

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2 thoughts on “A Ruined Christmas.

  1. GT December 21, 2016 / 5:33 PM

    You have no idea how much this hit home with me. I had tears reading it the whole way through. You have a true gift with words and this was exactly what I needed to be reminded of today. Jesus is with us (always) even in the hard places. Praying God’s tremendous blessings on your family. xo, G

  2. Ken Branscombe December 22, 2016 / 8:06 PM

    My wife , Weylene, and I met you briefly at Gorhams Bluff. God has gifted you in an amazing way and you have been so faithful in carrying out His calling in your life. Like many with whom you shared with in “a ruined Christmas”, you remind us once again that God is sovereign. And, perhaps as with some other readers, you touched our hearts to see your graciousness with challenges greater than most of us are facing this season. But, then again, I suspect your wisdom surpasses most……

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