When my Christmas cards didn’t print right this season, I tried to see it as an opportunity to discard some self-imposed pressure.
But my dryer has been in disrepair for weeks now, and my kitchen faucet, too—after breaking in half 10 days ago. And this was on the heels of the sick-kid merry-go-round, full of fevers and vomit.
And yet all of these happenings are laughable compared to wishing Christmas would be like it should.
I catch myself channeling sadness into making perfect the facets of life I can control, except lately I’m failing at even that.
It feels like everywhere we turn, somebody is deep in need or drowning in pain. The degree of desperation seems so great that any attempt to meet it is a silly drop in the bucket.
Nothing is enough right now!
It makes me strain and grit my teeth and spin my wheels because I can solve this, and I can bust through these walls, and I can dig deep and make it everything it was supposed to be.
And I can’t. Because it is not enough in the same way I am not enough.
My depravity curiously comes to a head at Christmastime as my frailty is juxtaposed with the sinless Son of God.
All my perceivably celebrated striving and pride and secret motives lay bare before the One who knows they’re not enough.
Sometimes, it feels easier not to know.
Yet, in God’s great mercy, He shows us. In His great mercy, He reveals we can’t. In His great mercy, He takes away our worldly pacifiers. In His great mercy, He refuses to be less than first.
But, then we lie in the pit, despairing our depraved condition?
But, then Christ!
If insufficiency flings us toward the Savior King, let it show our works could never do, so we trust only Christ will.
Let these holiday traditions prove fleeting, so we cling to the One who sets all things right forever.
Let our strength run out chasing Kingdom work, so we fall on the King who can.
Let lament run all over us as we run toward the mercy seat of the great I AM that loved us enough to die in our place.
Let us realize we and the worthless trinkets we bring will never do because that’s the point.
This year, I feel my humanity as much as ever. I see great need that I can’t possibly meet. I see ugly motives in myself that look admirable on their face. I see frustration when things don’t go my way.
But then, I see the Christ.
My King, who voluntarily stepped into the whole of it: every single, sinful thread, in its aggregate weight, would and did rest on Him.
And He knew. We celebrate that He came. But He knew.
We only know a teaspoon of the cosmic weight Christ entered this world to bear—
But if the depth of our need is any indication—
How enough He really must be.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
(John 1:14 NIV.)
“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
(Isaiah 53:4-5 NIV.)