In a still-sleeping house on this early Christmas morning, I tiptoed out of bed with thank yous in my heart, whispered toward a never-sleeping God. His provision has much to do with the beautifully laid out presents that will make my kids giggle with delight in a few minutes. But, His blessings have everything to do with the heaviness of this world and the uncarrry-able sins that burden me personally, that burden my sweet babies, that crush the strongest of us all. He brought Christmas to this world so that He could carry the load Himself, a load much more cumbersome than a red velvety sack of shiny toys.
Yesterday a friend told the story of one of her first Christmases with a son she adopted from Ethiopia. She showed him the Santa tracker on her computer, and excitedly said to him, “Look! Santa’s almost to Ethiopia!” Her son answered matter-of-factly: “No. He doesn’t go there.”
And, when I heard her story it broke my heart for her son and for other children all over the world and in my own town who don’t have stockings to put out, who never experience the magic of a Santa-filled Christmas morning.
But, the truth is that there are places Santa doesn’t go. There are children he doesn’t leave gifts for. There are empty stockings and horrors instead of delight and no warm Christmas morning breakfasts or snuggling on couches in brand new pjs in many, many houses, streets, hovels in this world.
But, Jesus proved something to us on the night He entered this world in the tender flesh of a human child. When he was born, wiggly and warm and fragile in a smelly cave somewhere in the middle of a non-descript countryside. When He chose a teenaged girl as His mother. He showed us that there is no place that He doesn’t go.
Emmanuel. God with us. In the most terrifying, most disturbing, most sad and depressing Christmas morning scenario we can imagine, Santa may not go there, but Jesus Christ does. He is near, our ever-present help in trouble. He goes into the darkest hearts, sees into the most depraved minds, and works through the most despicable people.
I know, because He came to me.
He is with us. He is perfectly in control, even when things seem wildly out of control. And, there is nowhere He doesn’t go.
All human beings fail. Even the jolly old elf himself. But, Jesus, God wrapped in flesh, He has never failed, not even once.
And even in Ethiopia on Christmas morning, where Santa doesn’t dare to tread, Jesus is there. And, He brings far greater gifts.