Merry Christmas Eve to most of you! Admittedly, friends, yesterday morning was a tough one for me. Staring up the face of a week long cliff of non-stop family and entertaining, culminating in my brother’s wedding, was a bit daunting to take in all at once for me. I love people and I love my family, but the prospect of two family parties in two nights and knowing that getting home from the second would signal the beginning of entertaining a family of strangers for a week was a lot to take in. Then, on the other end of this whirlwind is a wedding in which I have to play the brother of the groom (oh, darn). In light of all this, I wasn’t too keen on last night, today or Christmas. In fact, I wanted little to do with any of the three. but this is where I’ve seen an answer to prayer.
Family, community. I find myself talking a lot about these two elements of life. I find them both critical in a season such as this, wrought with the consumerism that has so evidently set in. Yet, despite my own emphasis, it seemed impossible to muster that focus in my real life. It was rather discouraging. This is the nature of life, being attacked where it hurts you most. What defines each of us, what separates is how we react. However, in a life submitted to God, only the weak fight.
God is sovereign. There are no qualifications. There are no interjections or anything but the definitive. God is sovereign. That means that in our joy, as well as our struggle, He is. Through chaos and calm, pain and bliss, God is no less sovereign. This is why the strong give in. Because their strength is derived in the amount of trust they place in the familiar unknown. It is only the strong who know and are certain that to fight is a waste of strength. And so, it was in that moment of fear and weakness, I turned to my strength and prayed. Yes, I was stifling the tears of a bewildered and overwhelmed son. But, I emerged differently from that prayer than I entered.
Prayer will save Christmas. Maybe you find yourself where I was yesterday morning, defeated, overwhelmed, helpless. You don’t have to stay there. You are far from trapped. When I finished praying for a changed heart, for joy and a true Spirit of the season, I felt it. I knew immediately there was a change within me. And I could see the change in my body language. Where have you fallen, friend, that praying to the Sovereign can’t fix? Where have you hidden that the God who is cannot find you? What defeat have you suffered that Christmas cannot be saved through prayer?
This idea of prayer is not foreign. It’s been practiced for thousands upon thousands of years. Maybe it’s about time I give some real credence to it. Care to join me, friend? I wish you would. We are not praying to a deity removed from creation, hoping blindly they will act favorably toward our appeals. No, we are praying to the God of all, the Sovereign. The God who can create with His voice can most certainly rescue from another lackluster Christmas. All we need to do is ask, earnestly, and we will receive (James 1:5-6). So, let’s all go make this the best Christmas we can. What do we have to lose?