This will be my last post of 2022. And I’d like to say before 2023, God has been amazingly present in this year, and will be equally present in 2023.
For me, 2022 has been a year of being continually aware of the presence of God.
Even through the seeming contradictions and perplexing turn of events that send us reeling, Jesus is never surprised.
I couldn’t wait for Christmas. My San Diego granddaughters would fly out to be with us. Yay!
We had planned to all be together on Christmas Eve (my birthday) to attend our church’s Christmas Eve service. Then we would all go out to dinner at a nice restaurant. Christmas would be a quiet celebration with friends from church.
Like so many others who had looked forward to quality time with family, it was not to be. Illness and cancelled flights stole Christmas celebrations from thousands of Americans.
My granddaughters arrived, already coughing. Their mom had to fly out to Portland, Oregon for an unexpected business trip. She was still getting over her own illness, and then this trip forced her away from being with her precious daughters.
The granddaughters, Kira and Kaya, came down with full-blown cases of flu, with high temperatures, coughing and headaches and body aches.
So I became their mama and nurse for the next five days, running up and down the stairs, delivering orange juice and pedialyte, administering Tylenol and ibuprofen, taking their temperatures, feeding bland meals, sitting with them and praying for their speedy recovery.
Bruce was on his own business trip, so I held down the fort.
On Thursday, all heck broke loose in the Pacific Northwest. Kiri, waiting to board her flight back to Denver, found out that her flight was cancelled. In fact, all flights were cancelled. She spent a miserable night at the airport, hoping to fly out the next morning. But those flights cancelled, also.
We arranged for her to stay at a nearby hotel. Can you believe this? The Uber charged 120. dollars for her short drive to the hotel.
Her hotel stay expanded into Christmas Eve and then Christmas.
So my expectation of a family Christmas Eve celebration and a peaceful dinner with friends on Christmas trickled down the drain.
But, I know that I will look back on this disappointing week and know that God was in this. I don’t know how. Even so, He will bring good and blessing out of this week.
There is still so much to be grateful to Him for:
Kiri is returning home. Kira and Kaya have recovered. They did not get any secondary infections. My other grandchildren did not get exposed to this nasty flu. My sick granddaughters got to be cared for by their grandmother. They got to see her faith in action as she lovingly prepared meals, and felt comforted as she prayed for them.
One morning, while the girls were sick, I crept downstairs and into ten year old Kira’s bedroom. As she slept, her long dark hair lay in limp strands over her face and pillow, and her cheeks burned with the flush of high fever.
I thought, “How precious she is. How tiny and innocent and helpless. Lord Jesus, I love this child. Please help her to recover quickly. Please bring something good out of this icky week.”
That’s all we can do. Love on these dear ones and pray for them.
But God is near. He’s always near even when we can’t feel him.
Christmas is so much more than family and celebrations. Yes, that’s a big part of Christmas. But in whatever challenging situation we find ourselves, Christmas is a celebration of the coming of Jesus to this earth to be fully God yet fully man. For Him, to come to know the smallness and earthiness of being flesh. So He could be our great high priest when He offered Himself for our sins.
And then, to become the God who is always with us.
Wishing you a joy-filled Christmas!