I finally have all my shopping done. Each time I ventured out and was reminded of why I dread the commercialized holiday season. The angels proclaimed at the Lord's birth, "peace on earth and goodwill toward men." Ironically, Christmas shopping produces kind of an opposite attitude.
Christmas will soon come and go, then the year 2005.
This has been a year of growth for me. The Lord has stretched my faith beyond anything I have ever experienced. Each time I convince myself that God has left me out to dry, He proves me wrong. This year, though kicking and screaming most of the way, I have learned to totally trust in Him. Everything I have held to in my faith has been challenged, questioned, and called to the carpet.
One thing I have come away with so far, is that all that really matters, through all the smoke and mirrors, is Jesus. The child born in a manger came to do something that man nor his religion could do. This year, all of my doctrine has been stripped off of me and thrown to the ground as filthy rags. I have come to the bitter end of myself, my intellect, my compassion, my reason, and my education. All that remains is Jesus, in my heart, and in my life. Where we go from here is uncertain to me. He has it all mapped out. Grace really is amazing.
This has turned out to be a good Christmas after all. Not sure if I'll get everything I wanted or needed, but I got something I sure didn't expect: broken and spilled out, and ready to be molded for God's glory.
Like Charlie Brown, I have been reminded of the real meaning of Christmas, and the reason for my joy.