I John 1:14 (NLT) “So the Word became human and made his home among us….”
“This Christmas will be a first for our family. We will be celebrating the holiday without our daughter’s presence for the first time. Jennie left on December 2nd to return to Sudan to work at a children’s center. Right before she boarded the plane that day, she called to say the final ‘goodbye’ before heading across the ocean. I had already cried so I thought that I was prepared to talk. The depth of emotion for this daughter of mine overwhelmed me at that moment, and I couldn’t even get my words out. I was finally able to tell her that my tears weren’t because I didn’t want her to go and work in Sudan but I told her that I feel deeply. She told me that she understood.
I have found myself ‘feeling deeply’ in the past few weeks very unexpectedly as I speak with people or experience the celebrations of the Christmas season. One day, I sensed the Holy Spirit quietly speak and tell me that no sacrifice goes unnoticed. I felt very humbled as I thought of what God, the Father, sacrificed for us. My sacrifice doesn’t compare.
It has made me think what God must’ve felt that very first Christmas. He sent his son as a baby into a very troubled world. He knew that His son was headed for death on a cross, carrying the sins of the world. As the shepherds rejoiced, did God have tears in his eyes? Was it a bittersweet moment because of His love for mankind?
My daughter will celebrate Christmas with 82 precious children in a very troubled part of the world. I am willing to share her with children who have seen parents killed during the war, parents who have died of disease, and children who have been abused by their parents. Even though I haven’t met these children, I have a love for them because of what they have endured during their short lifetimes. I’m sure those children won’t think about Jennie’s family who misses her, but that doesn’t matter. They have taught me to appreciate God’s sacrifice for us in a new way this year. I pray that these children will see Jesus shining through my daughter as we celebrate His birthday.
May we all experience God’s deep, deep love for us in a new way this Christmas.”