What are you expecting for Christmas?

Published 1:53 am Saturday, December 24, 2016

Have you ever wanted something for Christmas so much you dropped all kinds of hints?

Let me tell you what happened to author/minister Charles Swindoll when he was a child. He wanted a basketball for Christmas, so he did everything he could to make sure his parents knew it.

Swindoll recalls trying to disguise his voice and making phone calls to his mother, telling her that her son really ought to have a basketball. He found the cheapest prices and left them on the kitchen table.

Finally, a box just the size for a basketball appeared under the Christmas tree. The youngster could imagine himself dribbling and shooting the round ball. On Christmas Day, he tore into the package and, to his surprise, found a world globe. It wasn’t at all what he’d expected.

Christmas, and life for that matter, sometimes brings us things we do not expect. And, the things we ask for may not be delivered when we want them. That’s when we trust that God knows what’s best for us.

The Old Testament prophet Isaiah recorded these words from the Lord, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways” (Isaiah 55:8 NKJ). Someone once said, “God’s answers are wiser than our prayers.”

That first Christmas, things didn’t happen the way people had expected. The Jewish people were looking for a King to deliver them from the Romans and set up His kingdom. God chose what most people would think of as a strange way to save the world. Mary was probably expecting to deliver baby Jesus in a warm, comfortable bed, instead she gave birth in a stable. The shepherds weren’t expecting a heavenly choir.

Christmas is about expectation, looking forward to that special day. “But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance…And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose,” (Romans 8:25, 28).

Everything that we want may not be what we need. God knows our greatest need. Roy Lessin has written these thoughts.

“If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent an economist. If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer. But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.”

What are you expecting for Christmas? Most everyone expects to receive gifts that family and friends have selected just for us. God loved the world so much He has given the most precious and perfect gift to all who will receive His Son as their Savior.


– Jan White is an award-winning columnist. She can be reached at jwhite@andycable.com.