*whispers* ‘Twas the night before Christmas … 🙂
Amidst all the Christmas cheer that this season brings, God has laid some pretty heavy stuff on my heart that I’d like to share with you at this time.
It all started last weekend, in the middle of what had to be the worst traffic jam I’d been in all year round. I’ve seen some pretty bad stuff on our Lagos roads, but almost TWO HOURS is madness, and all in the name of going to see friends at the mall – love you guys! Quite frankly, I was pissed.
I kept asking God again and again: “When did I miss your warning to not leave my house o?”, because surely I must have missed it at some point, right? It was a hellish case of bumper-to-bumper all the way through, as cars sluggishly moved through the chaos. And to make matters worse, there was the heat to contend with, and having to listen to the guy on my left go on and on and on about the problem, as if that would make it go away.
I never got my answer by the way, but in His usual fashion, the episode turned out to be an illustration that meant so much.
“I see four men unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed. And one of them looks like a god.” (Daniel 3:25)
For us Christians, Christmas means more to us than mere gift giving, Santa Clause and fancy family lunches, no matter how fun and great they all seem.
It’s a celebration of God introducing His son, Jesus Christ, into the fire that is our fallen world, the home of fallen people who create reoccurring messes we can’t seem to get enough of. Such messes include – but are not limited to – financial meltdowns, violent killings, natural disasters, unemployment, domestic abuse, child molestation, and yes, those two hour-long traffic jams that try to ruin perfectly good weekends.
Now, looking back at the year, many of us went through all sorts of challenges that affected us or our loved ones, but still came out standing. better and not bitter. What would have utterly destroyed the next person was what left us with just a scratch, and it makes no sense to those standing from afar, watching in silence.
“Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke!” (Daniel 3:27)
Amidst difficult circumstances, you and I have the ability to experience real hope, peace and joy that cannot be faked, the kind that cannot be explained in the normal sense like what we witnessed in Chioma’s beautiful testimony (which you MUST read if you haven’t yet), and it’s all because we have Him in us, for us and with us… the reason for the season, Jesus Christ.
So as we spend time with our families tomorrow, eating till we drop and belting out our favourite carols, let’s not forget to celebrate with an awakening of the true meaning of Christmas, for our gift that is the Saviour’s birth. We wouldn’t have made it through 2015 without it, and we can look on to 2016 with true hope despite what the economists, naysayers and others are saying because of it.
And with that I bid you adieu for the year 🙂
Merry Christmas to you and yours, and see you in January!