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Joy for the Day After Christmas, and the Day After That

joy

 

And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. -Romans 5:5

 

On this 20-degree day after Christmas, a little boy across the street bounces with glee, chasing a remote-control truck up and down a mound of snow. Crashing it, then starting over. He’s basically a burrito with arms, wrapped top to bottom in beanie and parka and boots. His dad stands nearby with a snow shovel, grinning. Even from my kitchen window, I can see the mist of Dad’s breath, the spark in his eyes, the flash of his teeth.

He’s a beaming father, committed to his child’s joy.

Over the December days leading up to the Christmas celebration, I’ve been considering the lengths my heavenly dad went to, out of his commitment to my joy. What earthly king would hand-select such grime and poverty for his nativity, such a hostile journey toward death to save a bunch of flawed humans–among them, me?

 

He chooses my dirty places, the places that shame me, as His point of entry. -Ann Voskamp

 

Now burrito boy runs to dad, holding up his toy. Dad examines it, knocks some ice from the wheels, shakes his head. The boy in the beanie disappears inside his house, and I’m over here making my tea, hoping it only needs a recharge.

I hate disappointment.

How many times did my own son, Sean, carry his broken possessions to me with pleading eyes, saying, “Mama, fick-ish!” (translation: fix it). Often I couldn’t. Some things are just broken. Many don’t last beyond Christmas day.

This Christmas season, I celebrated the greatest gift I’ve ever received, eternal hope. Spent time examining it, reflecting on what it means to me. I held it next to my stack of broken stuff–my recent sorrows and disappointments–and watched them melt like last week’s snow. I recounted its value, compared it to the sum total of all my earthly blessings and found that it’s worth exponentially more.

I have a joy that’s deeper than my deepest sorrow.

What’s more, the God of the universe is committed to my joy today. Like a parent, he doesn’t want me to be disappointed. His Word teaches me which of my treasures are indestructible and which will break. He’s watching me now, beaming, as I enjoy the good stuff.

As I enjoy him.

Have you lately held your heart out to God, saying fick-ish? He can and he will.

Hallelujah!

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