I remember as a child having a terrible day on December 26th. The presents I thought I wanted so badly and dreamed about for months had lost their sparkle. I didn’t enjoy playing outside in the cold and snow for very long and we didn’t have TV, so most of the time I spent in my room reading a book. In the end, the best Christmas presents were warm clothes and books, although I didn’t think so on Christmas morning. Most of my books were from my parents’ collection of the classics, like Les Miserables and Lorna Doone, which are very long books full of boring sections. The only dictionary we had was nine inches thick and unabridged. My parents believed making me look up words was educational.
The baby Jesus was adored by shepherds and wise men, but then he and his family had to flee to Egypt. (Matthew 2:13) The presents brought by the wise men enabled Joseph to be take care of his little family as they traveled and during their years in exile. God had a plan for Jesus, yet I imagine Mary and Joseph knew very few of the details. They just had to take it one day at a time on faith.
The Lord had a plan for my life that required me to be good with words. As I spent so much time reading out of sheer boredom, I didn’t know that the day would come when the verbal skills I was developing would allow me to have scholarships to college and later to seminary. God sometimes gives us lovely gifts of grace, like the presents on Christmas morning, and we are so happy! Yet sometimes God’s best gifts of grace we don’t even realize we are receiving until we look back years later. The thing is that God is always there working through our circumstances to accomplish his will. (Romans 8:28) If we should feel let down after Christmas, it is a good time to remind ourselves that God isn’t finished with any of us yet.
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