When I was a little girl, Christmas was my absolute favorite holiday. We would always travel from our home in northern Wisconsin to visit my relatives in Illinois, and I would have the best time playing with all my cousins. Of course, the best part of Christmas was when we got to open our presents ... I was always so excited to get a bunch of new toys to play with!
Except for that one Christmas ... when I was sorely disappointed. I had asked for a Fisher Price farm set. You remember the one ... it had a silo, a hay loft, a fence, all these neat little animals ... and best of all, it made a mooing sound when you opened and closed the barn doors! I'm sure I got some really awesome gifts that year, but the only thing I can remember is that this farm set was not one of them.
And to make it worse, my cousin did get one! And this particular cousin actually lived on a farm, and she even had horses! I mean, how unfair was that?? I was soooooo disappointed, and I let everyone know. I'm pretty sure I received a hearty lecture about my lack of gratitude ... and deservedly so.
This past weekend we celebrated Christmas with the Sullivan family in Van Buren. Yesterday morning we went to church with them, and enjoyed a great sermon from my in-laws' pastor. He opened his message by sharing an illustration which really caught my attention.
It seems there was a little boy attending a church Christmas party. Each child who came to the party stood in line to receive a present, and this little guy was at the very end of the line. He patiently awaited his turn, but just as he got to the front of the line, they ran out of presents. The pastor felt terrible about this and apologized profusely, but the little boy smilingly said, "That's okay. It's not MY birthday anyway."
It's not MY birthday anyway.
Wow, did I need that reminder.
When I'm feeling second-rate because my house is not Pinterest perfect ... It's not MY birthday anyway.
When I'm frustrated because I haven't had the time or energy to get my Christmas cards done ... It's not MY birthday anyway.
When I'm aggravated by the rudeness of the crowds in the stores ... It's not MY birthday anyway.
When I'm disappointed and sad that our family Christmas is not what it once was ... It's not MY birthday anyway.
When everyone else seems to have what I want so desperately for myself ... It's not MY birthday anyway.
And most of all, when I want to kick and scream and rant about how unfair it is that Hannah is not here to celebrate with us ... (Sigh) ... It's not MY birthday anyway.
No, it's not MY birthday ... it's HIS.
Because it is HIS birthday, all of these things that are so hard, painful, sad, disappointing, frustrating, aggravating, and unfair today will one day be redeemed.
Because it is HIS birthday, Hannah is more alive today than she has ever been.
And because it is HIS birthday, I will see my girl again, and not just see her again, but spend eternity with her.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." John 3:16-17