“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” ~ 2 Corinthians 9:15 NIV
One year, as Christmas approached, I found my “to-do” list growing by the yard as the days to Christmas disappeared. Feeling a sense of panic, I sat down with the Lord. As I listed each burden in my prayer journal, I surrendered the expectation connected to it. My prayer went something like this.
- Bible study and prayer journals for my teen study: Lord, I wanted to finish decorating these for their Christmas gifts. But if I don’t finish them before Christmas, it’s ok. I will give them out in January.
- Gifts for out-of-town family members: I haven’t even bought them let alone wrapped and mailed them. But if the presents are late, it’s ok. My love for them isn’t determined by when their gifts arrive.
- Talk for the conference that begins December 26th: I want to be prepared and do my best. But these are your sheep. I’ll trust you to provide the right inspiration at the right time.
- Baking before out-of-town company arrives: If I don’t finish, we’ll work on it together after they come.
As I listed each item and surrendered control, peace replaced the weight I’d carried. I remembered the words of a popular love song playing on the radio. “All I want for Christmas is you.” I realized, all I wanted and needed for Christmas was Christ. And I had Him. I didn’t want any item on a to-do list to steal the best gift.
My Christmas Journey of Surrender
After giving God my list, gaps unexpectedly opened in my calendar. When a gal canceled an appointment, I raced to the mall sending up a prayer for direction. An invisible hand led me to different stores. When I left an hour later, I had gifts for everyone on my list!
How are you this week before Christmas? What pressures or expectations threaten to steal the wonder of Christmas? What difference would it make if you took a Christmas journey of surrender to lay your concerns at the Savior’s feet and savor God’s indescribable gift?
Larry and I are grateful for you. May you enjoy this season of celebration and reflection.