I’m really trying to organize the cumulative chaos that exists in our house for the simple reason that more people will be descending upon us in the next few days and will expect a place to sleep. One of the joys of the holidays is when we have the privilege of having everyone home at the same time. I don’t take this for granted–I know too many families who will have loved ones traveling or serving overseas or working away from home or who have died. I know how fortunate I am.
With everyone coming, we’ve tried to clear some clutter. Clutter, as you well know, begets clutter. Upon moving one stack of said clutter, I found the gift I was supposed to have mailed to my mom a week or two ago–not just a few days before Christmas. The chances are now good to excellent that it won’t get there in time, and I will once again be late with a gift that attempts to say, “I love you” because I lost that little detail in my messiness.
My dad used to say, “Dayle, you’re an hour late and a dollar short. Not a good way to get on in life.” I didn’t appreciate his witticism nor his insight into my heart at the time, but as I’ve gotten older, I realize that those are not qualities I want to encourage in my growth. I miss out on things if I’m not timely or intentional.
That first Christmas was a time of anxious waiting. It felt to the Jews that God was late–He hadn’t spoken to His people in 400 years. Once again they were under someone else’s rule. Once again they felt the pressure of pagan influence striking deeply into their culture. Once again they adapting to customs and laws that weren’t their own. Those who knew the Hebrew Scriptures knew Messiah was coming, but the waiting seemed interminable. It felt like God was late.
But at the perfect time, He entered the world in human form, a baby who was King. Not late, not misplaced, not hidden by human clutter, but born simply in a manger. Announced by angels. Sought after by shepherds. Worshiped by Magi. At the best time possible. A time when we were finally ready to receive Him. Even though we didn’t know it.
I can’t imagine the number of times I’ve felt like God has been late in my life. Why He didn’t choose to impact my life when I felt it was right. When I felt it was timely, convenient. When i was at a point of desperation that He needed to show up in a powerful way. And yet I didn’t see Him the way I expected to see Him.
I lost Him in the clutter of my life. He was there all the time. I’m the one who put stuff in the way, the one who missed seeing Him for the things I was focused on. I lost sight of Him.
He never loses sight of me. He’s never late. He’s always timely and right in His love for me.
Mom’s gift may be late, but she knows I love her. I will find a way to remind her.
As God continually finds ways to remind me of His love.