A bundle of energy, Heather determined to make Christmas merry for everyone.
Newly-married Heather made her Christmas project plan in early October. It included guest lists, gift lists, travel itineraries, seating charts, menus, concert schedules, church programs, and photo session appointments.
“Calm down, hon,” her husband, Paul, urged her at least twice a day.
“I’ve got this, babe,” she replied, scanning her project plan and proudly checking off another accomplishment.
Three days before Christmas, Heather’s plan began to unravel. Paul fell while shoveling snow and broke his arm. Two expensive gifts she’d ordered online arrived damaged. Their best friends from college had to take care of a broken water heater and wouldn’t arrive until December 26. Finally, the stress of the previous two months crashed down on Heather, and she was forced to bed with a debilitating migraine.
Often, like Heather, we try to plan the perfect Christmas celebration. But try as we might, those plans never seem to pan out. And maybe that’s the point.
The first Christmas was messy–not merry–from a human perspective. Among the highlights: burdensome government demands, exhausting travel on rough roads, sold-out lodging, shared space with smelly, dirty animals, and a visit from smelly, dirty shepherds. That’s a far cry from the pristine, serene scenes we see on Christmas cards.
Maybe God is showing us a few things through the self-inflicted stress and unexpected mishaps of the Christmas season:
- He’s in control; we’re not.
- This life is and will always be messy until He makes all things new.
- Despite the messiness, we experience love, blessings, joy, and purpose.
- Christmas is not about the trappings or traditions, but about Christ.
- We all desperately need Jesus and His promise to give us rest for our souls.
If your celebrations this Christmas season include a little messiness here and there, relax. You’re in good company.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)