Christmas. It’s been on every one’s mind. Talk all month has been about getting ready, what gifts to buy, how to afford what the loved ones want, how to make this year special, how to fit in all the traditions.
Earlier this month, I had written out a blog post that is set to be posted right before Christmas. The post is about how Christmas is really all about Christ; how it is a time to celebrate His birth and remember and reflect all He has done. We even did the Giving Manger with our son, trying to instill in him that Christmas is not about receiving, but about celebrating the birth of Christ through giving to others.
It all sounds so great, so religious, so virtuous.
Then it happened. Money that we expected, that was owed to us, that had been budgeted already, didn’t come in. I sat down, re-did the budget, and all bills that needed to be paid were paid. There was no left over. No Christmas money for presents for my kids and grandkids. I tried moving things around to get a different result. It just wasn’t there.
I knew in my heart that the person didn’t intentionally mean any harm to us. It was a life lesson for them and thankfully God used us to help them learn it instead of someone else who would have responded differently. I struggled, though, with being angry. I struggled with not allowing the anger to take root and turn in to bitterness.
God, though, had already been preparing my heart for this. I had been reading through the Bait of Satan, which dealt with offense. Instead of allowing myself to wallow in my anger, I dug in to Scripture, I prayed, I turned to God. He responded with talking to me through Bible study, which happened to be about humility that week, He talked to me through Wednesday night service, which reminded me I am a debtor.
Then He reminded me of the blog post I had written, that was sitting there on my computer, waiting for the week of Christmas to be posted. My own words were about how giving and receiving gifts were good things, but how Christmas to me is about CHRIST. It isn’t about the gifts that I can or cannot buy for those I love.
My anger was gone. No offense could take root. My eyes were back on Him.
Then, He moved in ways I wasn’t expecting. Gifts were given to me for my son from someone else. We went to community events where we got to pick out gifts for our son and granddaughter. Work events led to more gifts. Unexpected finances came in. We ended up with more than we originally had planned.
Many would say God blessed us through getting those gifts and unexpected finances. The true blessing that I received, though, was in how He gave me the Bible study and Wednesday night teachings to remind me of His truths and how He met me during the late-night Scripture readings. That is the blessing in this, that He didn’t leave me in my anger, which would lead to roots of bitterness through offense. He filled me with His truths and helped me bring my eyes back on Him. The rest of the stuff were all benefits He chose to give us right now.
When I say that Christmas to me is about Christ, I believed that was what was really in my heart. I know that I know that I know now that I truly mean it. I have moved from untested faith to tested faith. I didn’t walk it perfectly, but I did walk it and came out with my eyes on Him.
#TrueGift #ChristmasisaboutChrist #blessinguponblessing