We have our last little toddler in the house at Christmas time! Well, that is what we thought a few years ago too, but we think this is our last one. He is almost two years old and he is the perfect age to enjoy Christmas.
It’s hard to tell how much of it he enjoys and how much of it he finds frustrating. He is very excited for the momentary glimpse of lights he is able to enjoy as the car speeds forward but he is equally as angry when the dazzling lights are no longer in his view. It all happens too fast for him. I feel ya, buddy!
He’s also learning to talk. His most recent phrase is, “I see” or “I see too!” If something interesting catches his eyes or ears he will not hesitate to tell you that he must see the point of interest immediately. It usually begins with a simple, “I see too, I see too, I see too.” But it doesn’t take long before it becomes, “I SEE TOO,” should his desire not be met with enough haste.
Not only that, but we live very close to train tracks. Interestingly enough, in the year 2020, these train tracks are still used multiple times a day. We know this because we can clearly hear the train whistle sound throughout the day. It is most disappointing to my son that he can distinctly hear this train and still not be able to get to it to see it. Sometimes this frustration ends in tears. “I SEE TOO!!”
Like the phrase, “seeing is believing,” the Christmas story gives us a glimpse of what it looks like to have moments of tangible miracles.
“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them…(Luke 2:9).
Sometimes the work of God is glorious. It’s unmistakable and we linger and soak in the goodness of his gifts and miracles. The Christmas season is full of dazzling, exciting reminders of the gift of Jesus in every hymn sing and sparkling light display, it’s easy to feel full and happy.
Not every moment with God is so clear.
“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.”
Paul’s teaching here illustrates that on this side of heaven, things aren’t completely clear. Just like looking in a mirror or perhaps a photograph, we can only see and understand some elements of the reality of Christ but one day, in the presence of God, things will become clear.
Some days are just like that. Foggy. Confusing. Disappointing. Frustrating. It’s a little bit like the way my son experiences hearing an exciting train in the distance and longing to see it for himself. One thing about him though is that he is tenacious. Longing for a train is an EVERY DAY occurrence. The sound of the train is consistent and he cannot escape from knowing that it’s out there, close by.
What are you looking for? Financial peace? Restored relationships? Physical healing? Justice? Often, we have very real needs and desires that aren’t met and it becomes difficult to embrace the warmth and miracle of the Christmas season.
Accept the challenge to see the goodness of God even if he feels far away in your life in this moment. Like my young son, fight to see where God is working. Open your eyes, look for God. Expect to see God. Don’t give up. Sometimes it feels like noise that doesn’t make sense but don’t allow the noise to become something that drowns out your hope in God. Instead, cling to the truth of scripture, revealed as truth in historical moments, like the foretold birth of the Messiah.
May you experience Christmas with your eyes wide open, eager to follow the sights and sounds of Jesus, wherever He leads you.