It’s Christmas morning and I’ve tried to spend the entire advent season preparing my heart for this day. Or so I thought. My husband and I knew our gift exchange would be a meager one this year. There was our traditional exchange of pajamas on Christmas Eve followed by one stocking stuffer each on Christmas morning. I was ok with that. I enjoyed my husband’s clearly thought out gift choices and was happy with them. But the truth is that I found contentedness in that moment knowing that our large family gift exchange would be just a few hours away.
When I had finished opening all the gifts later that day, it was official. I did not get what I wanted. For a moment I was angry. The thought even crossed my mind to travel to other family’s homes and do a postponed gift exchange early in hope of getting my desired gift. And then it hit me. I had an ugly sinful heart. My heart was full of greed and had completely missed the real Christmas. I cried.
I cried because of the truth of it all. The truth that the more I thought I wasn’t materialistic the more I realized how stuff centered my worldview had become. I cried because despite the ugliness of my heart my Savior had shown grace to me and revealed my sin. Also the church we’ve recently been attending was holding a Christmas night service, yet another gift of grace from the father. My husband was so gracious with me that day and the service was like a cleansing, reminding me of the real reason we celebrate.
On the 27th I had some anxiousness as I prepared for another family gift exchange. Would I be ungrateful for what I received? Would I have trouble showing genuine emotion for gifts I did not deserve? Would I have to relive Christmas morning all over again? Once again I did not get what I wanted but this time was different. I was able to be genuinely thankful even for the gifts that were not ideal…
What a great God we serve that he would not just reveal our sin to us but also work in our hearts to free us from it!