I don’t know anyone who gets more excited about Christmas than my husband. He is like Chevy Chase in the movie Christmas Vacation. He loves to build anticipation for me and the kids. He loves making Christmas breakfast casserole. He loves cooking Christmas dinner. He loves building the fire and then throwing all the wrappings into it. And he LOVES to play Santa, taking his time to hand out all the gifts, one at a time while everyone watches. One year he even number coded the gifts so that the kids would not know which gift belonged to them. He assured me this would prevent them from being able to figure out what they were getting, for this is the cardinal sin of Christmas in our house.
One of the things he enjoys most is telling the kids that he won’t be able to get them what they want for Christmas “this year.” Of course, the kids have finally figured out after all “these years” of getting what they wanted, that this is a game for him.
Why would he play such a game? Because he loves to surprise them on Christmas morning. He gets really upset with me if I take them to look at something they want, or have them email me the link to something they want. I had to have a serious conversation with Santa this past week about life changing and the children getting older. I had taken our daughter shopping so that she could try on some clothes she wanted for Christmas. I bought the clothes, brought them home with me, and will wrap them and place them under the tree for Christmas morning. One would have thought I had committed a felony. I had to remind him that she was 21 and that she would still be excited on Christmas morning. This he could not understand. You should have seen his little sad-sacked face.
It brings my husband great joy to give his children what they want for Christmas. I confess that I find it difficult to even type that sentence. I find myself wanting to explain and defend it with statements such as, “We don’t always give them what they want…I know we shouldn’t spoil our kids…giving kids what they want can make them indulgent and selfish...etc.” But I will let it stand. I will even type it again, It brings my husband great joy to give his children what they want for Christmas.
I think we sometimes have a view of God in this same way. We are sure that God won’t give us what we desire because this would be presumptuous and selfish on our part, and after all God is all about keeping us in our place. This mind-set of God reflects an absence of intimate relationship with Him. In John 15 Jesus lets us in on a secret about intimate relationship with the Father. He says, “If you abide in me and my words abide in you ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. My father is glorified in this, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”
This asking and receiving is in the context of intimate abiding fellowship with Him. How does one abide in Him? It’s much like any other intimate relationship one has: you talk, you listen, you cry, you laugh, you share your deepest secrets, fears, and dreams with one another. I realize this doesn’t capture it fully; however, it is basically relating on an honest and authentic level with Jesus. As we do this our love for Him grows and we begin to see what He sees and want what He wants. We then begin to ask for things we want but, this wanting has come from our abiding in Him. He then gives us what we ask for. And this giving to us brings Him great joy!! It is an amazing journey.
We may give gifts to our children hoping to buy their love and affection. Or, we may sometimes throw money their way to get them off of our back. Or perhaps we indulge them in all of their demands in order to relieve our own guilty conscience. God does not operate this way with us. He won’t attempt to buy our love and affection; He doesn’t try and get us off His back. He gives out of His pure unadulterated love for us.
What do you want for Christmas? Do you want your marriage restored? Do you want a wayward child to come home? Do you want to love God more? Do you want your household saved? Do you want friends? Do you want healing? Talk to Him, abide in Him.
Do you know what He wants? He wants YOU!!!
Have a Most blessed Christmas.