The other day, I was reminiscing to a friend how much I miss the Christmases of my youth, filled with weekend caroling practices, too many mini candy canes and potato chips, writing stacks of cards in sparkly pen, and staying up overnight in church playing Bridge or Dai Dee. Gone are the days when I could stay up all night and still get through another day on adrenalin, Coke and good cheer. After 36 Christmases, I’m no spring chicken 😉
This morning, I found myself watching my youth in church. Energy off the charts, as usual. Watching them bounce around wishing each other, I felt a tinge of envy. Oh, to be that young again. Free. Unfettered by the kind of commitments and responsibilities we have as adults. “That was me,” went through my mind. “How much life has changed.”
And then, later in the afternoon, I watched my Grandma as she watched her great-grandkids running amok in the garden. She looked a little tired, and understandably so since we had had a full crowd of visitors and extended family over for Christmas lunch.
“Grandma, you want to rest? You want to go to the room and lie down?”
“No,” she smiled. “I’m happy just sitting here watching them.”
And she was.
Every Christmas, I ask God for a personal encounter with Him. Year after year, He has answered this prayer, in different ways, through different people. Today, watching Grandma, I felt Him say:
This too will pass. Today will become tomorrow’s memory, and years from now, you will look back on these days as your “earlier years”. Now you feel scared, because time is fleeting, faster than you’d like. Your children are growing and changing, every day – and so are you. You parents are growing old, and Grandma too. It’s so hard just keeping time. There’s so much you want to do and remember, but sometimes you can’t. Memories are slipping through your fingers every moment, and you are trying to grab on tight with your photos and scrapbooking and Instagram and mind…
But in all your tomorrows, whatever or wherever they may be – in all your children’s tomorrows too – I AM with you. Let that, and not the memories preserved, be your anchor.
Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel,
which means ‘God is with us’.
Thank You for the beauty of Christmas. That You came down to be with us in all our todays and tomorrows. Emmanuel has come.
That’s my Christmas story, the words He has written on my heart for 2017.
And now here’s a story that we watch with the boys every year during the Christmas season. A beautiful tale of rekindled hope, divine providence and His constant presence – whether you’re a believer or not, I hope this blessed you.