He Is Coming

I was six years old. Our little church’s Christmas Eve service had just ended and I raced outside without stopping to grab my coat. I thrust myself onto the cold ground and stared up into the starlit heavens…

I was searching for Santa.

I was desperate to catch a glimpse of the sleigh pulled by his eight magical reindeer. I can still feel that feeling. The giddy delight of anticipation. The eagerness for that one unmatched, magical moment I experienced every year- the wonder and joy that only this holiday could bring. Christmas meant…

He was coming.

And it didn’t matter if I’d been naughty or nice, because time had proven that there would be packages with my name on it, even though I always had much to feel regret for. I wasn’t always a good girl. In fact, I was the self-willed, difficult child in my family. But none the less…

He was coming.

Gifts were coming.

Goodness was coming.

I am thirty-five-years-old and I still get completely lost in the wonder of Christmas. I love the lights and cocoa and the smell of pine. I love early mornings all alone with my favorite Christmas mug snuggled up by the tree. I love Christmas music and hearing my three year old sing “jinger bells” at the top of his lungs. I love buying gifts. I love picking the perfect paper for my carefully selected parcels for the people in my life I want to express love and thanks to. I love Christmas parties and family gatherings and caroling. I love candlelight services and Christmas plays, but most especially, I love the joy and wonder I see in the eyes of my children. And with every year that goes by, every year that another twelve months pass, my longing for Christmas becomes greater.

Because Christmas means…

He is coming.

And it doesn’t matter if I’ve been naughty or nice, because Christmas rescues me from all that.

Yes…

He is coming.

Gifts are coming.

Goodness is coming.

This Christmas I find myself much like that little six year old shadow of me, staring once again, staring into the stable. Staring at how love came down to rescue me. Staring at how God nestled himself within the womb of a girl to know life in every way I have known it. I see the mission of love before me. The rescue mission that snatched me from the grips of hell and set eternity in my underserving soul. From a crib full of hay to a cross on a hill- this baby, this man, this God- He has rescued me. And this Christmas, perhaps more than ever before, I am aware of my need, my love and my desperation for Emmanuel.

As I mediate on Christmas, I find myself…amazed. I am deeply,deeply astounded at the incarnation. He could’ve conjured up another rescue plan…right? But for you and me He chose to make Himself small. He chose to leave the glory and perfection of heaven, the place where he is honored and adored, to enter the mess and madness of humanity. Do I really grasp what that means?  Do I really understand the magnitude,the glory and goodness of the word, the name, Jesus?

Can you feel it? Are you looking with me, searching the heavens? Searching your heart? This God who came, is coming again.

There is something else that accompanies my joyful expectancy for Christmas this year. It’s panic. It’s anxiety. It’s bouts of depression and exhaustion and suffocating empathy and fear. I am a mess. I am a desperate mama, a tired, frazzled, anxious, weary mess.

And here is my Christmas list…

Comfort and release from my grief.

Peace for all my pain.

Joy for all my sadness.

A fresh start for all my failures.

Light for all my darkness.

Victory for all my battles.

Freedom from all my fears.

Yes…

He is coming.

Gifts are coming.

Goodness is coming.

The spirit of God takes me by the hand and leads me here,

“Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. And the government will be upon His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

This one tiny baby is all of this for me, for you. Within every name, I find the answers, the gifts my heart begs for.

What Christmas list would your soul inscribe to the Lord this year? What wish list would you offer to the King of Kings, the One who is willing and able to satisfy your deepest needs and longings? We spend so much time thinking and planning and wishing for the things that could fill our lives and homes. What gifts might you ask for to fill your heart?

Wonderful Counselor

Almighty God

Everlasting Father

Prince of Peace.

This is His name. This is our God, Our Emmanuel.

Yes…

He is coming

Gifts are coming.

Goodness is coming.

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