The path to Christmas at our house seemed a lot like the one for which the day itself celebrates.
This year has been a long, hard journey…only to get to the end to find no room at the inn, in many ways.
The year has been a story of disabilities, disasters and way too many losses….but also one of perseverance, sharpening and victories, often disguised as hardships. I am highly confident that 2017 will be a year of rebuilding and grace.
So, there weren’t as many gifts under the tree this year, and many of them would have blended in with the latest Fruit of the Loom commercial….which may sound bleak for American children in this day and age – at least at first glance.
But in our culture of entitlement, I think it was just what the children needed to learn some valuable character lessons.
Less yields more appreciation and a deeper sense of valuing “Stuff.” Less is just what was needed to drive home some salient points we parents otherwise try to teach our children with varying degrees of success.
I can safely say it is much harder to teach some of these lessons unless a child experiences the sting of disappointment, of going without. A little humility yields great things!
There were lessons this morning in climbing out of a pit, of garnering one’s creativity and ingenuity to generate solutions to get where you want to be, to realizing your dreams. To being the one to make your own dreams come true instead of relying upon others and the world to make it happen FOR you.
Actually, kind of like the very premises our country was founded upon!
Instead of a spirit of downtrodden weakness, a prevailing spirit of hope, faith and love.
And it didn’t come in the form of an expensive gift, it was not proud, it did not boast. There were no clanging cymbals.
My friends, God was right when He said the greatest of these is LOVE. This gift sat in at the back of the tree in a little silver, unmarked box, having gone mostly unnoticed until this morning.
The very youngest child patiently waited until all the gifts had been opened and he quietly padded over to his mother, the one in the room whose name was not on any of the gifts (because it’s all about the kids, right?) and he handed her the plain tin box and eagerly waited for her to open it.
His light blue eyes danced with anticipation as she carefully opened it and joyously received the greatest gift of all:
And Merry Christmas with love to you all!
May God bless you richly with His love…but don’t look for it at the 5 star resort in the top-floor suite. It can be found in a quiet valley of solitude, where things are simple and lowly, sweet and holy.