Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Almost Christmas

It's almost Christmas... the boys are in bed (maybe sleeping, maybe not)... the house is quiet... too quiet. Any day and every day, let alone Christmas day, is less exuberant (and full and busy and noisy and fun and exciting and sweet) without my littlest man Christian around. This Christmas is so very different from the one we celebrated last year.

Last year, we were all together-- not only my amazing husband and three fabulous boys, but my parents and siblings and in-law's and niece and nephew to boot! This year, David's parents are with us (and what a blessing they are!) and it is my husband and two boys-- all still amazing and fabulous, just one number short than what we wish it to be. It's hard to believe that almost 4 months have gone by without my little blue-eyed boy to kiss and hug and hold and tickle.

But God has been faithful! He has been consistent, ever-present, ever-loving... He has shown us in big and little ways just how much He loves us. However, we still struggle and tend to forget these little gifts from Him as we go about our day or when we are sobbing and missing Christian and basically feeling sorry for ourselves. It has not been easy, but we are still here, still together and have a strong marriage. We still have happiness in our home-- definitely different than before, but happiness nonetheless.

We have much to be thankful for... because you know what? It's not all about me or my family. CHRISTmas is about Jesus Christ!!! Because if all were taken away from me-- my home, my health, my whole family-- I would still have Him, I would still have Jesus!!! And therein lies my joy, my peace, my future-- Jesus can never be taken away from me! Eternity with Jesus, eternity with Christian, and I pray eternity with each of you if you will only believe and receive Him! (Please go HERE to read more about how you can be absolutely positive about where you will spend eternity.)

This is why we celebrate. This is who we celebrate! Today, we celebrate your lowly and magnificent birth... Happy Birthday, dear Jesus!

I read this a couple weeks ago (yes, I read ahead!) from page 376 (December 25) of Streams in the Desert by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman. I encourage you to read all the way to the end-- it's worth it and will give you the proper perspective of thanksgiving today.

A few years ago a striking Christmas card was published, with the title, "If Christ had not come." It was founded upon our Savior's words, "If I had not come." The card represented a clergyman falling into a short sleep in his study on Christmas morning and dreaming of a world into which Jesus had never come.

In his dream he found himself looking through his home, but there were no little stockings in the chimney corner, no Christmas bells or wreaths of holly, and no Christ to comfort, gladden and save. He walked out on the public street, but there was no church with its spire pointing to heaven. He came back and sat down in his library, but every book about the Savior had disappeared.

A ring at the doorbell, and a messenger asked him to visit a poor dying mother. He hastened with the weeping child and as he reached the home, he sat down and said, "I have something here that will comfort you." He opened his Bible to look for a familiar promise, but it ended at Malachi, and there was no gospel and no promise of hope and salvation, and he could only bow his head and weep with her in bitter despair.

Two days afterward he stood beside her coffin and conducted the funeral service, but there was no message of consolation, no word of a glorious resurrection, no open heaven, but only "dust to dust, ashes to ashes," and one long eternal farewell. he realized at length that "He had not come" and burst into tears and bitter weeping in his sorrowful dream.

Suddenly he awoke with a start, and a great shout of joy and praise burst from his lips as he heard his choir singing in his church close by:

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,

O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;

Come and behold Him, born the King of Angels,

O come let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord.

Let us be glad and rejoice today, because "He has come." And let us remember the anunciation of the angel, "Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:10-11).

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