A year can change much in ones life. This Christmas looks so very different from the last, in so many ways. Last Christmas as I slept, I was not aware that my precious wife was holding the news of our new baby right next to me. Last Christmas brought Joy and elation of what this year would bring with the pregnancy and a new baby. We thought of this Christmas and how much fun we would have with a new baby in the house. Those hopes turned to sorrow with grave news and then brought new hope through prayer and longing. But this hope was different it was not a presumptuous hope, but one rooted in what the Savior could do. Today as I look back to August 9th, I feel the excitement of the day and the overwhelmingly painful end to it. I miss Asher terribly tonight and wish he was here to celebrate our Saviors birth with us.
Yet God makes all things new! This is the message of Christmas for all peoples. Christ, the King of Kings, and Lord of lords took on flesh and dwelt among us (Phil 2, John 1). As I write this evening I am listening to our Precious daughter Zoe sleep (it is one of my favorite things). It was appropriate that we named her Zoe. Her names means life, and she is a reminder of that to us. She is a reminder of the hope that Christ brings in the Gospel. Christ brings life where there is not life. Who could know the workings of God just beyond the sight or the clear perception? God is working in ways that we cannot see, and not just to ease suffering but to work in and through it. I am thankful that God has led me to praise His name in sorrow and now in His great grace toward us.
Perspective is everything! God has taught us this year to see all things (good and seemingly bad) as part of the Gospel story that He is weaving through our days. We need to see His Son when life is not as it should be, when family betrays and offends and friends disappoint, the Gospel demands mercy. When circumstances fail and tragedy strikes the Gospel brings hope. We need to see Jesus and still long for him more when life brings abundance, when a healthy baby comes into our home, when we seem to have all that we want and need. Jesus is still and forever better!
Christmas will forever be about babies for me, because of Asher, because of Zoe, but lastingly because of Jesus Christ! I am thankful that on this holiday when I am prone to think on the loss of life and the gift of life, I am faced with the inescapable life of Jesus Christ. I am drawn to long for His second advent when all will be made right for eternity. God help me to live with this perspective until you come..