Christmas has always been a time for celebration and joy for our family. However, a few years ago we were consumed by grief over our nephew who was a troubled kid. Our sadness threatened to rob the sacred holiday of the usual awe and wonder we felt. I began to pray. “Please, God, don’t let us miss Christmas.”
It is our tradition for family and friends to join us for Christmas dinner. This year was no different. The house was full of those who had come to celebrate.Our home glittered with lights and tinsel both inside and out. The presents were sorted into piles according to the nametags that were located a top each gift and tucked slightly under the bow. Aromas of holiday foods cooking in the kitchen made our mouths water with anticipation. Outwardly, all seemed right, yet for my family, no celebration or sweet treat could comfort our hearts. Again, I prayed. “Lord, please don’t let us miss Christmas.”
As the evening drew to a close Cody, a friend of our son, 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 the Marines?” I asked.“
“I wish I had never joined. I’m told the only way to get out of it is not to graduate. So I’m not going to finish school,” Cody said as he shuffled his feet back and forth.
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 placed your trust in Christ to be your personal Lord and Savior?” I asked.
“No, ma’am, I haven’t,” Cody said, shaking his head back and forth.
“Well, we can fix that right now if you’d like,” I replied.
My niece and I escorted Cody into a quiet room where we explained about the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. Cody accepted the peace of God, and his countenance changed right in front of our faces! With excitement, Cody announced to our guests, “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, the 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.
May you experience the miracle of Christ this holiday season.