Christmas can be a hard season for many.
Maybe you’re awaiting a Christmas miracle.
Maybe you’re asking God for something incredible.
Maybe you’re overwhelmed and exhausted and beyond your threshold.
Maybe you’re feeling alone in all of this.
This was me a few days ago as I navigated my grocery list.
I was operating at 150 MPH, short-fused, emotional, and exhausted from being up most of the night soothing a four-month-old.
I struggled to push a shopping cart piled to the heavens, with a baby in my moby and a deep sadness on my heart for a loved one awaiting a miracle healing.
We continue trusting God is doing the extraordinary for this person so near to me.
But on this particular day, I felt alone in my sorrow, drowning in my to-do list.
I slowly rolled my cart toward the beverage section and kneeled near the bottled water, trying to lift an oversized case into my already spaceless cart.
With my baby in the moby wrap, I couldn’t get low enough to transfer the water into my cart.
Even my simple struggle with the water seemed to symbolize some of life’s moments right now.
Giving up, I began to move on to other groceries when I heard a voice behind me, asking if he could help.
There had been no one in sight, but this customer appeared and immediately lifted the case of water onto my cart, situating my groceries around it.
I made my way to the toy aisle where I continued feeling overwhelmed, behind on my Christmas shopping. As I browsed the aisles, I passed an employee who smiled and said he was there to serve me. I repeatedly encountered this same employee with each new aisle, as he parroted his desire to help me.
After finishing with toys, I gradually made my way to the check-out.
Before I knew what was happening, a random employee had unloaded my hoards of items on the conveyor belt, while the cashier asked if she could call someone to load my vehicle.
But not before I saw an old friend, who listed specific ways she wanted to help me and my family.
As I was preparing to leave the store, another employee arrived and began taking the cart to my vehicle–despite my earlier decline of help.
The sort of attention and service I received at this particular grocery store were unusual–available employees were normally hard to find.
After the kind and quiet man transferred my groceries to the car, I drove off, fighting feelings of isolation because nobody could see the emotional burden I was carrying.
I began whispering one of the most elementary prayers–
Help me, God. Help me.
And the still, small, gracious nudge of the Holy Spirit brought to mind the seven times I was offered help just moments ago.
The seven times I had missed.
As I fervently expected a miracle for my loved one, I missed the miracle of Christ bearing with me in my day-to-day.
I had been so fixated on looking for God in the extraordinary that I missed Him in the ordinary.
That’s the Christmas miracle.
That God sees us.
That God sees us in our boring and unremarkable state and delights in helping us with it.
That He saw me at the grocery store that day, feeling so alone as I struggled to push through something as trivial as my grocery list.
That He is with us.
That He is with us in those unexciting, mediocre moments.
That He is with us always, moving us along.
He’s in the exciting miracle, sure.
But He’s in the mundane, seemingly unholy moments. Christ came just as much for those.
In the simple.
In the lackluster.
In the humdrum.
He is there, bearing with you.
In the dull and boring struggle of your every day routine.
He is with you.
In something as ordinary as an extra pair of hands at the grocery store.
Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated “God with us.”
Merry Christmas, my friend.
Much love to you,