if you’re anything like me (not likely, since I’m quite odd, but maybe there are a few kindred spirits out there…), then the entire month of December is often just as fun as Christmas day itself. The thrill of looking for the perfect present…the lovely and nostalgic music playing everywhere you go…the evocative scents of pine, cinnamon, peppermint and gingerbread wafting through the air…deepening your understanding of God made man…wondering what’s in that box under the tree…it’s all so fun, isn’t it?
but December also comes with it’s fair share of challenges, does it not? Usually it’s thoughts like… “I have no idea what to get so-and-so”… “is this really in my budget for Christmas presents?”… “when in the world am I going to get <fill in the blank> done?!”… “wow, that party sounds really fun, but I’m so tired…” or “I wonder if mom caught that ‘hint’” or “do I really get it? Christmas is so miraculous – but am I really grasping it’s true meaning?” etc. that fill my head and detract from the joys of the season.
yet we all press on through the month, often overlooking the challenges and just focusing on the fun. Why? Because we know that ultimately it all will be wonderful. Christmas is wonderful! The culmination of the season – Christmas Eve and Christmas morning are so exciting! We are assured of a wonderful outcome after all our anticipation and waiting. Even if we don’t get exactly what we asked for, or maybe the “perfect” gift we got for someone doesn’t quite fit right… Christmas is still glorious because… well, it’s Christmas!
So my friend and I were talking about how this parallels life. In the short term – the current season we are in (for me right now that means singleness) can be compared to the month of December. It has some really fantastic benefits, and it also has some challenges. But why is it so easy to focus on the “negatives” and all that I’m not getting right now? I mean, during the Christmas season, it never really crosses my mind to question if it’s worth the wait or get upset over the fact that I can’t have my presents on the 15th but instead I have to wait for the 25th. Why? I think because I have a sense of assurance regarding the outcome. I know that what I’m waiting for will be good. And the anticipation and waiting is half the fun! It makes the end so much more exciting! And yet I can’t not do anything to prepare for Christmas, right? Just sit back and wait for it to come? Of course not.
And this is different from real life… how? Exactly. It’s not. In this season, I am still assured that the end result of this season – or perhaps I should say ‘the transitional point into a new season’ since marriage isn’t the end-all and ultimate goal of life – will be good. God has instituted marriage and made it good. And I believe I will be called to that season one day. But just because I don’t know exactly when that day is, that shouldn’t make the season prior to and leading up to it any less exciting! Instead of fretting or getting frustrated or impatient that it isn’t coming faster, why can’t I just trust God that He has sovereignly established the perfect day for that? And until then I get to go about happily enjoying all the benefits of this season, preparing and eagerly anticipating “the day,” trusting God as I walk through the trials that also accompany this season because I have the assurance that what He has for me is and always will be good… because He is good. I think that when I begin to doubt, or get discouraged, it’s because I’ve either forgotten, or chosen not to focus on the fact that I am assured of a good and wonderful end result, rooted in the very character of the God I love and serve.
Hopefully you’re also catching on that this illustration extends (and appropriately so!) far beyond just one’s current season – but into all of life! Ultimately, we live for that day – when we experience the greatest good – the best thing ever – eternity with our Savior! Free from the presence and influence of sin…gazing upon the wonder and majesty and beauty of our Lord…diving deeper and deeper into all that He is…getting lost in worshipping His name… and it is the excitement and anticipation of that glorious and amazing day that gives us fresh faith and joy for each day we are given, as well as strength and hope to continue on despite trials and challenges that we face in our current season of life…because it will definitely all be worth it once that day arrives. And while it is ultimately about that day, it’s also about this day. God is just as eager for us to experience His grace and goodness and glory during the season leading up to “that” day, as He is for us to experience the fullness of His presence on that day…
So as each day arrives, full of new mercies, let’s live for “christmas” – that day, which we are promised and assured will be good.
edit/addition: (per caregroup tonight)
“And they sang a new song saying
‘Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.’
Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads and myriads and thousands of thousands saying with a loud voice,
‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!’
And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,
‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!’
And the four living creatures said, ‘Amen!’ and the elders fell down and worshiped.”
that is what it’s all about, folks. that’s why we live – and what we live for.