Posted in Christmas, Family, Grace, gratitude, Holidays, life, love, Scripture, Southern born, thankful

It’s A Downtown Christmas

I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love.” Ephesians 3:17b-18

This was one time paying a bill was fun.  My life as a kid was good.  While we didn’t have everything, we had plenty, and we had each other.  A few weeks out from Christmas (believe it or not, we actually celebrated Thanksgiving before jumping into Christmas) we would get all the Christmas decorations down from the attic and decorate the house. I told you about the special Santa that used to hang on our chimney and believe it or not I was able to find one exactly like it and it now hangs in my office.  He keeps an eye on me all through the year to make sure I am behaving.

One of my favorite memories was the times when we had to go to downtown Jacksonville to pay our utility bills.  I suppose it was the electric bill because we had a pump in the backyard for our water and we didn’t use gas.  At any rate, with a tight budget, we would have to take the bill down to the electric company and drop it off the night before it was due. Christmas or not, off we would go to downtown.  But during the Christmas season…it was special indeed.  Here’s why!

Back in the day, all the department stores would decorate their windows with all things Christmas.  There would be figures whose arms and legs would move, reindeer that lifted their heads as if to fly, boys and girls skating on a make believe lake and on and on the list would go. It was certainly a magical thing to see and experience.  In its own small way, it made Christmas, Christmas.

Now here’s the good part.  Truth be known, if it wasn’t for the tight budget that forced us to make time to go downtown to pay the bill—we probably would have missed that beautiful part of our Christmas memories.  I know that often this is not by accident but rather by design.  You see God is always working, sometimes out front and sometimes in the background, but He is always working and yes, He does work in strange ways.  And often, what seems like a difficulty can be His way of bringing something good to light.  If we are willing to be patient, then time after time we will see His Divine handiwork.

I think one of the best things will be when we finally get to heaven and see that it is full of surprises.  We will know all the things God saved us from that we never saw happening and all the things He arranged that we skipped over and counted as consequence.  And as much as we think we know, I believe we are going to be astounded by the depth and width of His great love for us.

Paul, the guy who wrote a big chunk of the New Testament said it best when he wrote, “I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love.”  And honestly, that is one prayer we may not see answered because His love is so vast. So today, why not keep a special look out for all the ways God especially works in your life. Some will cause you to filled with gratitude and others, well, they might make you grateful that indeed, “He’s got this.” Bro. Dewayne