Christmas is close now.
I am a planner and I had this week planned out – Monday and Tuesday were set aside for last minute shopping, planning the Christmas eve and Christmas day meals, buying groceries, and gift wrapping. Wednesday morning would bring classroom parties and a half day of school, kicking off the official start of rest and anticipation of Christmas morning.
Instead, my plans were disrupted by an unexpected and terrifying hospital stay with my boy on Monday and Tuesday. In the midst of the frightening experience, God was so very near. He led us to the doctor’s office at the exact moment we needed to be there and protected my sweet boy with such tender care. We do not yet have answers for why he suddenly had such trouble breathing but we have an amazing doctor who is leaving no stone unturned in ruling out culprits. We are all safely back home together, gratitude bursting our hearts at the seams.
If ever there were a lesson in putting first things first and the unimportance of wrapped presents or just-one-more stocking stuffer, or the perfectly curated holiday meal, it is the helplessness of having a sick child. Advent this year has been transformed from anticipation of our coming Savior with earthly eyes also focused on a long-list of to-dos, to praising Emmanuel- God with us.
The verses from Daniel that had been laid on my heart on Monday morning, carried me through that afternoon’s ambulance ride and hospital stay with my boy.
“Don’t be afraid,” he said, “for you are deeply loved by God. Be at peace: take heart and be strong!” (Daniel 10:19 NLT; emphasis mine)
I prayed the words over and over. For Ben is deeply, deeply loved by God. Truth soaking my heart with peace.
He never left us, He went before us – preparing the way for the incident we had no way of anticipating, and He stayed so very near.
Emmanuel. God with us.
Because of His great love, He sent us His son in the most non-threatening, gentle, humble form: a baby. We celebrate the birth of God in flesh, in a humble stable, in the quiet of the night, He came for love and because of love. To be with us. To fulfill promises and prove His trustworthiness.
Merry Christmas, my friends. May God bless each of you reading these words with His love and grace and comfort as we head into these last few days leading to the joy of Christmas morning.