Christmas has always been a time for celebration and joy at our house. However, about four years ago, our family was consumed in grief. Our nephew was a troubled kid, who refused our help, and was headed for disaster. Our broken hearts seem to rob the sacred holiday of its awe and wonder that we had experienced in years past. So, I began to pray. “Please, God, don’t let us miss Christmas.”
Tradition in our home is to have family and friends join us for Christmas dinner. Everyone was invited. This year was no different. The house was full of those who had come to feast, fellowship, and celebrate the birth of God’s son.
The house glittered with lights and tinsel both inside and out. By now, the kids had sorted the presents into piles according to the nametags that were located a top each gift and tucked slightly under the bow. The aroma of holiday foods cooking in the kitchen made our mouths water with anticipation. Outwardly, all seemed right, yet for my family, the joy of Christmas was replaced by sadden hearts that no celebration or sweet treat could comfort. We were at the party minus the honored Guest. Again, I prayed. “Lord, please don’t let us miss Christmas.”
The evening was drawing to a close and some of our guest began saying good night. Cody put on his coat. “Merry Christmas,” he said, waving bye with his hand high in the air.
Cody had joined the Marines and was due to report after graduation.
He fiddled with his jacket as if he was hesitating. “Are you excited about joining the Army?” I asked.
“No, I wish I had never joined. The only way to get out of it is not to graduate. I think that’s what I’m going to do; not finish school,” said Cody as he shuffled his feet back and forth.
“There has to be another way.” I insisted.
I sighed and began sharing with Cody what I needed to hear myself. ”Peace comes in impossible situations when we rely on God and trust Him with our future, whatever that may be.”
Stunned, Cody asked. “In order to trust and rely on God, don’t I first have to …what’s the word, ah…get saved?”
“You’ve never trusted Christ as you personal Lord and Savior?” I asked?
“No, I haven’t.” Cody said, shaking his head back and forth.
“Well, we can fix that right now if you like.”
My niece and I escorted Cody into a quite room where we explained about the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. Finally, I asked, “Cody, would you like to receive Jesus into your heart as your Lord and Savior?” Unable to speak, he nodded his head yes and we prayed. Cody’s countenance changed right in front of our face.
Walking back into the living room, Cody announced with great excitement, “Guess what everybody? I just gave my heart and life to Jesus!” Cheers filled the house and the true celebration of Christmas had finally begun! It was a Christmas miracle I’ll never forget.
God had heard my prayer. He hadn’t let us miss Christmas at all. In fact, as we looked to Christ for Cody’s sake, He was birthed anew in all our hearts.
Isn’t that why we celebrate Christmas each year? To refocus on the One who offers hope in this fallen world and fills us with lasting peace. Hope for the hurting, sick, and the lost. Christmas reminds us to rejoice in the truth that no matter what we face on earth, Jesus has overcome the world! Gazing on Christ helps us to see, if we have Jesus, we have everything we need.
Wishing you a joyful Christmas!