I love the song “My Grown up Christmas Wish.” In the song they say that their “grown-up Christmas wish” is that there would be no war, that everyone’s hearts would be healed, and everyone would have a friend. I love and agree with those wishes… But I would also wish that everyone would know Christ, and would be filled with hope.
Though presents shouldn’t be our primary focus for Christmas, I have to admit that I got a little carried away with what I wanted for Christmas this year. Much of my hope was put in this desired gift rather than in our God, the giver. This year what I wanted couldn’t be wrapped or put under a tree. Because what I wanted was to be better physically for Christmas.
I wanted to be strong enough to be with my family Christmas morning… I wanted to be strong enough to sit up on the couch without fainting, falling over, losing my vision, or getting nauseous (all symptoms of POTS). Instead I will be carried to the living room and lay down on the coach. I’ll stay there for as long as I can handle the noise and light before I’m taken away from my family and put into a room, by myself, in the dark (this is the only thing that helps my symptoms calm down).
This may seem silly and not like a big deal. But for me, being able to stay sitting up represents a new phase of healing. For me it’s a big step. Unless I get a miracle in the next few days it looks like it will be awhile before I get to that point of my recovery.
3 months ago I was getting ready to go into intensive treatment for my Lyme disease, POTS, and brain injury. Three debilitating sicknesses I had been dealing with for 2 years. I was trying not to get my hopes up, because I had already tried so many remedies, and seen so many doctors, and the things that seemed to heal other people didn’t help me. But my hopes were up; it was possible that with treatment and time I could get to a point where I could live a semi-normal life again.
I had one wish for Christmas– that I would be able to sit up without help during Christmas morning with my family. Since treatment I have had a lot of healing with my brain. But my condition of POTS has gotten worse.
Though my wish may not seem “shallow” I realize it’s not what Christmas is about. As we get older we see that Christmas is not about the presents we get… and this Christmas isn’t about getting the present I wished for. Christmas is about what we can give to others, and reflecting on what God has already given us…. The keys to heaven. We are not doomed to a world filled with heartbreak and struggle, but we are promised an eternity of awe and wonder.
Christ came down and was born in a lowly manger, lived a life of sacrifice to teach us His ways, and then He took upon Himself death upon a cross– the punishment reserved for only the most horrible criminals. Why did He do all of this?? So we would have a way into heaven.
“We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.”
In 1 Corinthians 13 it states, “the greatest of these is faith, hope, and love”. Hope is listed with faith and love. Yet, we live in a hopeless society. If we are not instantly gratified, we lose hope. But hope must be deeper than that. It has to be. The Bible talks so much about it.
We say things like “I hope I get ‘…’ for Christmas” and if we don’t get it we lose our hope. But hope is deeper than wishing for surface things. Hope isn’t “wishing”. Hope is believing that no matter what, no matter how hard or how wonderful things get, no matter how much life surprises us, that God will somehow bring something good out of it all.
Hope is knowing that God has a purpose for us here on this earth. Hope is knowing that our life on earth is only the first step of our lives. We have a whole destiny of millions of years in a perfect world, living with, and walking with God. How can we lose hope when we realize this??
So I may not get the Christmas “ present” I wished for… but God is using this as an opportunity to teach me a deeper lesson of hope. I don’t know if I’ll ever master the full understanding of hope. But I think I’m starting to get past the surface meaning of it. I’m realizing that hope should be a vital part of our daily lives.
I love the show “Once Upon a Time.” But I have to admit that I’ve had to skip many episodes when the dark magic got too intense for me. But as I’ve watched this show I’m inspired by Snow White. She is always full of hope… and the peculiar thing is that bad thing after bad thing has happened to her. Every time things start to get better or she has a victory, another trial strikes and she is fighting to stay alive. But instead of seeing it the way I just described, she believes that no matter how bad things get, they do eventually get better. Good does eventually come. She knows that no matter how bad it gets, there is hope. It won’t be in vain.
I sit there inspired by her positive attitude and wish to become more like her. After she loses everything time and time again she focuses on what she does have and she has hope that good will win.
So I hope that if things haven’t turned out the way you planned, that you also would be filled with hope when you think about the God who came down to earth, and gave everything so we could spend eternity with Him. I hope you are filled with hope when you realize that God has a destiny (that you are living right now) here on earth, and also in heaven. I wish that you would have hope to believe that no matter how bad things get, they will get better; they will not be in vain; God will somehow bring good out of it.
God works in mysterious ways. And it may be mysterious to us why God doesn’t instantly “fix” our trials… but I know that the God who sacrificed His life for us is a God we can trust. I don’t doubt Him, or His timing. And I don’t’ doubt that He will and IS bringing good out of my physical trial. I may not be able to “sit- up” this Christmas, but I will lay down and reflect upon the hope Christ gave us when He came down from heaven to a lowly manger.
I wish you a merry, Merry Christmas!!! My “grown-up Christmas wish” is that me, my family, and all of you reading this would be filled with the greatest gift of all, knowing Christ, knowing His love, and having hope in the power and purpose of His resurrection.
Merry Christmas to all of you :)!!