A childlike anticipation

what-christmas-means-for-christians

“What a wonderful thought that some of the best days of our lives haven’t happened yet.” — unknown

“There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind” — C.S. Lewis 

“My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” — Pslam 139: 15-16

With the kick off to the holiday season, I am always reminded of the feeling of anticipation I had at this time of year as a child—with dad cutting down the Christmas tree, mom setting up the Nativity scenes and my sisters and I making long Christmas lists and behaving our best “cause Santa Claus is coming to town.” I knew our traditions and all the good that was in store for us. And that predictability brought me an overwhelming sense of joy—one that makes my stomach flip, even today.

In this season more than any other, I feel close to childhood-me. That’s likely why so many of us treasure this time—it’s so familiar and full of sweet nostalgia. The same feeling of anticipation can hit us whenever we hear certain songs, sort through old decorations, or smell treasured Christmas scents.

However, the older I get the more I notice that unlike back in the day, I also get pulled down at this time of year. I can’t help but worry that this year might not be as good as years past or that this season is so fleeting. Though we hate to admit it, another Christmas will go by just as quickly as it always does. And the nostalgia and tradition in this season hold a mirror up to just how much times change. 

The one thought that allows me to dwell in the first feeling rather than the second, relates to the Psalm above. “…Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me…” Each one of our days is given to us by God. He has formed days for us full of joy in the past and is ready to bring more again in the future. This Psalm reminds me of how the here and now is always full of that potential. Likewise, there are far better days ahead of us than what we can even imagine. 

I am relieved when I realize not only does my God hold those days in His hands, but He wants that Christmas joy to fill us up as much as we want it to. I pray we feel that childlike giddiness for the anticipation of His gifts during Christmastime, but also have this anticipation for the days to come. He promises a joy that is everlasting. 

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