Pastor Chris White
There was a man who worked for the Post Office whose job was to process all the mail that had illegible addresses. One day, a letter came addressed in a shaky handwriting to God with no actual address. He thought he should open it to see what it was about. The letter read:
I am an 83 year old widow, living on a very small pension. Yesterday someone stole my purse. It had $100 in it, which was all the money I had until my next pension payment. Next Sunday is Christmas, and I had invited two of my friends over for dinner. Without that money, I have nothing to buy food with, have no family to turn to, and you are my only hope. Can you please help me?
The postal worker was touched. He showed the letter to all the other workers. Each one dug into his or her wallet and came up with a few dollars. By the time he made the rounds, he had collected $96 which they put into an envelope and sent to the woman. The rest of the day, all the workers felt a warm glow thinking of Edna and the dinner she would now be able to share with her friends.
Christmas came and went.
A few days later, another letter came from the same old lady to God. All the workers at the Post Office gathered around while the letter was opened. It read:
How can I ever thank you enough for what you did for me? Because of your gift of love, I was able to fix a glorious dinner for my friends. We had a very nice day and I told my friends of your wonderful gift. By the way, there was $4 missing from the envelope. I think it might have been those darn thieves down at the Post Office!
Aren't we all a bit like Edna sometimes? God does something great for us and we focus on what we don't have. God supplies His child with everything they need and if we perceive something is missing it might be so by design. I have had some wonderful additions to my life as well as a few painful subtractions over the years. But I have learned that I am under the mighty hand of God and both, yes both, are from One in the same and are part of the wonderful story He is unfolding in this world.
As many of us celebrate the Christmas season, there will be empty chairs at our dinner tables, less than happy prognoses about our health, heart-breaking relational strains, reminders of failures and unreached goals, maybe even the specter of job loss and a very uncertain future. Life is messy and has a lot of moving parts and things don't always go the way we have hoped or prayed.
But here's my point: are you going to focus on what you don't have or will you focus on the goodness of God and what He has already done for you? God, in sending His Son to earth, the Incarnation we celebrate each year at Christmas, did so that we might have life and have it abundantly. He has taken care of the "big stuff" so there's no need to sweat the "little stuff". The joy of the Lord will overshadow any and all of our present sorrows in eternity. As a dear friend said to me once, "When we are finally with the Lord in heaven, this life will just seem like one night in a bad hotel."
And we can always make it through one night in a bad hotel.
With eyes on the Savior this season,