Keeping Christ In Christmas
Ephesians 3:20-21 Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
December 6, 2020
I’ve said it before, but I just can’t say it enough how much I love Christmas time and Christmas. Growing up my Mom went out of her way to leave nothing but happy memories of the whole Christmas season, so I have nothing but fun and special memories of Christmas. But, the main thing is that my Mom made sure to teach my siblings and I the real meaning of Christmas- to celebrate the best gift to the world there ever was or ever will be, Jesus Christ. It was very clear from as early as I could remember that Jesus is the reason for the season.
Because my Mom made Christmas so fun and special for me, I wanted to give my children the same. So, in 1983, while a nursing student, I worked a lot of double shifts prior to Christmas to have enough money to create fun and special memories for them as well. My kids were only toddlers then, but I eagerly looked forward to seeing their little faces light up with Christmas joy, especially on Christmas when they opened their presents.
I was also excitedly looking forward to the last day of school before the Christmas break. It was a much-needed break and I couldn’t wait to go see the stores all lit up with Christmas decorations and go Christmas shopping. I was on such a high anticipating the beautiful doll I would buy my daughter as I always got a doll for Christmas and loved it. In fact, I’m an avid doll collector to this day. I thought about the big Tonka toy truck I would buy my son and the other gifts I would get them as well, the gifts I would get my Mom, other family members and loved ones. I always enjoyed the gift of giving at Christmas time to celebrate the best gift that was given to me and the world, Jesus Christ.
As I sat in class, I enjoyed learning all the material, but I couldn’t help looking at the clock numerous times, excited to start my Christmas vacation. I would get to spend precious time with my babies and my family. So, when class ended, I nearly jumped out of my seat as I hurriedly wished everyone Merry Christmas and got to the bathroom before it got crowded.
I was happy to see that I had great timing as the bathroom was not crowded. I sat my purse down to wash my hands and afterward scurried on my way with the biggest smile on my face. But, before I got to my car, my heart began to race, I got shaky and started to sweat in a panic. I felt a whole lot lighter and realized that I had left my purse in the bathroom! Oh God! I had cashed my check and had all the money in my purse along with my Driver’s license.
I ran to the bathroom as fast as I could. I’m sure I bumped into quite a few people along the way, maybe even almost knocked some down. I rushed into the bathroom trying to catch my breath and looked on the counter where I had left my purse. My heart sank, I got weak in the knees, my stomach flipped as I stared at the empty counter. There was one other person in the bathroom, and I asked her did she see a black purse, or anyone pick one up. She told me no and didn’t seem too concerned that I obviously had lost my purse. I checked with lost and found, maintenance, random students in the hallways, but I got the same answer, no one had seen my purse.
I cried. I just sat in my car and cried. That was all of my money- to pay my rent, buy groceries, pay bills, go Christmas shopping, to last until I got paid again. It was a big check from all of the doubles that I had worked.
I was upset with myself for being so careless, for being so preoccupied that I actually walked off and left my purse. I began to pray and ask God to help me. But I also felt that God had blessed me and I was careless with my blessing and I had to acknowledge that. Nevertheless, I could hear my Mom’s saying Psalms 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor His seed begging bread. I trusted God to make a way out of no way and to meet all of my needs. I put all of my trust in Him and also asked God to help me learn a valuable lesson from that experience.
I could also hear my Mom’s words saying as long as you’re in the land of the living Kitty, there’s hope. Ecclesiastes 9:4 For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion. I can truly say that I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living - Psalms 27:13
I began to focus on the fact that my family and I still had our lives and I still had a job to make back what I had lost. But most of all I was thankful that I had the Lord. He was the reassurance that everything was going to be fine. I was so thankful to God for all that I still had that I purposed in my heart to be just as happy no matter what I didn’t have, because as long as I had the Lord, I had enough. I realized that the most important thing was celebrating the gift of Jesus Christ, which was actually free. My sadness and grief was replaced with newfound divine joy and I knew Christmas that was going to be great, better than ever.
Back then, I worked for the registry and got daily pay. I called my job and asked them to give me as many shifts as possible. I was embarrassed by my carelessness but explained the situation to them. I was immediately booked for more than enough shifts.
I made enough money to do all of the things that I had planned to do with the money that I lost. God came through as He always had then and like He always does now. The kids didn’t miss a beat. Christmas was fabulous and in a strange way, even better because I knew what I had lost and what God had replaced. I realized that even in my carelessness, God showed me mercy and grace. I had so much more to celebrate than originally planned. And it made Christmas that much more special. I even prayed for whoever had my money that it helped them if they needed help. I just left them and that whole situation in God’s hands and counted all of my blessings.
About one month later, I received my purse in the mail along with my driver’s license. No money though. I guess someone felt convicted after they spent the money. Whatever the case, I was still thanking God for His mercy, grace, and blessings.
I’ve had many Christmases since then, fun, special, and memorable ones. Yet, that Christmas will always stand out to me and will always be extra special because in my loss, I gained so much more. That Christmas day in 1983, I woke up with newfound gratitude for everything, much humility, and newfound Christmas joy. The day was brighter than ever. I heard the birds chirping louder than ever. My world was lit up in a whole new way. Not only did that lesson impact all of my Christmases, but my life in general. No matter what I have or don’t have, I will still and always celebrate the Lord Jesus Christ.
With Christmas only a few weeks away, many people have experienced losses of various kinds and are wondering how they are going to make it. Perhaps, you or someone you know may be in that situation. Well, I’m here to tell you, put it all in God’s miraculous hands and just trust Him. Keep your hope in the Lord, no matter what you're lacking. Thank God for all that you do have and praise Him for just being God Almighty. Realize that as long as you have God the Father, God the Son- Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit, you have everything you need, and that God will use even your most painful losses to bless you as only He can. Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Ephesians 3:20 Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Ephesians 3:21 Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Prayer: (Feel free to say this prayer)
Dear Father God,
Thank You Lord for being my Provider. Even in my loss, I have gain because I have You. Lord, I am so very humbled by knowing this. Thank You Lord for Your mercy, grace, and blessings that even in my carelessness, You still provide and meet all of my needs. Lord, You even go above and beyond with abundant blessings. I ask that You bless those this Christmas season who have experienced loss or lack of any kind for whatever reason. Bless them Lord with abundance in their household, with their finances, with their health, and with their relationships. But most of all Lord, bless them with an abundance of You. Give them reassurance that You are in the midst of every loss and every lack and if they but turn to You, count their blessings, and thank You, they will always come out on top and have more than enough. In humbleness of heart, I love and praise You Lord God.
In Jesus most precious and holy name I pray,
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