Merry Christmas friends and family!! Today I am thrilled to present Grace’s Journal’s first ever guest post by Coco!! I hope you enjoy!!!
Do you remember when you used to write letters to Santa Claus as a kid? Or sit on his lap at the mall? For some reason, kids find great joy in telling a bearded man in a suit what they want for Christmas. They have yet to receive their present (if they ever will), but they still delight in asking.
There’s an odd kind of happiness that comes from telling people (especially Santa) what we want. We make Amazon wish lists, or if we’re old-fashioned maybe we write our lists by hand. Parents, grandparents, and friends are always asking, “What do you want for Christmas?”
But how many of us can say we bring our requests to God with that same level of excitement and joy? With childlike innocence? God desires to hear from us even more than our relatives do, and yet we often neglect to fill Him in on the details of our lives. Prayer should be the most important conversation of our day; God should be the first person we go to when we have a desire or need. He wants to hear our Christmas lists too! Even the small details matter to God and He delights in our prayers when we come to Him like children.
We may not believe in Santa anymore (or perhaps we never did), but we must hold on to that childlike faith and excitement when we approach God. Unlike Santa Claus, He actually hears us and desires to answer!
“And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us.” (1 John 5:14, ESV).
However, simply telling someone what we want does not guarantee we will receive what we asked for. I don’t know about you, but there’s never been a year I got everything on my list. But even so, the gifts I have received have always been enough. I have always been able to enjoy the Christmas season with my family regardless of what I find under the tree. I wonder why we don’t approach prayer the same way–why do we get so mad at God when He doesn’t give us everything we ask for? Why do we assume we’re entitled to anything in the first place?
Family members are flawed human beings, and their attempts at gift-giving don’t always live up to our expectations. Sometimes friends buy us something we have no need of; sometimes fuzzy socks just aren’t what we asked for. But, for the most part, aren’t we happy when we unwrap a present from a loved one? Don’t we thank them for the gift anyway? If we accept the lesser-than gifts from our human friends and family, how much more should we accept the perfect gifts of God! After all, He knows us better than we know ourselves. He always knows what we need.
Matthew 7:9-11 says: “Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”
God is the Master Gift-giver, and He always has our best interests in mind. The blessings He sends our way might feel like the exact opposite sometimes: trials and hardships don’t normally make the top of our Christmas lists. But we must understand that God loves us too much to give us candy canes when what we really need is heart change!
The gifts of God may not present themselves in shiny boxes, or fancy wrapping paper, or be topped with pretty red ribbons. In fact, God’s greatest gift to the world was born without a proper welcome and spent His first night in a manger. But however the gifts of God are presented to us, and however painful it may be to open them, we can rest assured that God will never leave us empty-handed. We will never walk through the Refiner’s fire only to emerge a lump of coal.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18, ESV).
We may find fewer physical presents under the tree this year for various reasons, but nothing should hinder us from clinging to the true meaning of Christmas–love, joy, peace, and hope–because of God’s decision to give us His only begotten Son. Jesus Christ alone is the best present we could ever receive.
And yet, Jesus still encourages us to bring our material requests to Him. In Matthew 7:7-8, He implores: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”
The blessings of God do not end with Christmas morning: there is abundantly more waiting for us! We simply need to persevere in the asking, seeking, and knocking. And when that doesn’t result in glory, we need to wait. God’s timing is so much higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Even as we approach the end of a year like 2020, there is still hope. There is still peace. Give God your Christmas list and trust that He is in control. Have faith that your miracle will come when you need it most. His riches in glory are infinitely greater than anything you’ll ever find in the North Pole.
CoCo Ashley is a young writer devoted to following her Savior Jesus Christ. She enjoys using her words to inspire others, and dreams of one day being a published author of both fiction and nonfiction. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her texting her friends, reading a book, or simply being an introvert with music in her headphones. Find her on her blog at cocoschitchat.com.