Monday, December 24, 2012
I know, weird title.
But hang in there – it will all make sense in the end.
Let me start off by telling you that I've had a rather nasty case of insomnia the last month or so. My gift of insomnia comes in two different forms – (evidently it's an equal opportunity giver). Sometimes I fall asleep quickly and easily, only to awake anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours later – and then I can't get back to sleep for hours. Or, sometimes I just can't fall asleep for hours in the first place.
I try deep breathing. I try watching television. I try reading.
Sometimes I just lie there and play word games in my head.
(In case you're interested, I play word games like try to think of a word for every letter in the alphabet that has double consonants in it – like apple, butter, copper, etc. Or think of a word that has "v" in it, or "th" or ends in silent "e" – and so on. There are many variations to come up with on the alphabet theme. Sometimes just trying to think of another variation keeps me awake!!)
The idea is to tire my brain out so it will give up and fall asleep already! And to distract me from all the (worrisome) thoughts that go reeling through my head.
You see, if you think Satan is bad during the day, just wait 'til you experience his nocturnal attacks.
Ebenezer Scrooge didn't know how good he had it. The Ghosts of Christmas Past and Christmas Future had NOTHING on the Ghost of What-If…
So, the other night, the one following a night when I was up until 3:30 AM, I fell asleep easily at 9:00 PM. Glorious. Until I woke up at 11:00 PM.
And I was terribly, terribly anxious.
I finally decided to call my mom at 11:30. Now, before you get on my case about that, you have to know something about my mom.
She's a night owl.
And, she takes a big 'ol nap every afternoon. She does it for three reasons I think:
1. She's tired and needs the rest.
2. She does it to escape my dad for a few hours.
3. She does it so she can stay up late at night – probably so she can escape my dad for a few hours.
Sometimes I CHOOSE to stay up for the same reasons. (Sorry, "Hub")
So, I know my mom's going to be up until at least midnight. So I call.
She's used to my late-night phone calls, so she doesn't panic when she hears the phone ring. (Unlike my panic the other night at my 10:45 PM call – you know, the whole Marty coffee shenanigan – I knew that call was NOT good news).
I let the phone ring – and I can just picture her on the other end. She puts aside the newspaper or magazine she's reading, she slowly gets up from the recliner, and she makes her way to the kitchen to answer. I'm pretty sure she knows it's me.
And soon I hear her dear, sweet voice – the one that's so familiar to me I can hear it in my head…
"Hi Mom, it's me."
If my mom had a nickel for every time I've started a conversation with those words, she'd be a millionaire. As long as I can remember, I've been reaching out to her late at night for reassurance about something.
You see, I've been plagued by "what if" pondering all my life.
I can remember going into my parents' room as a child, a teenager, a young woman, kneeling by her side, and whispering gently, "Hi Mom. It's me."
And she always said this, just like she always says it now:
"Oh Sharon, my sweet Sharon."
Yes, I do know how incredibly lucky I am to have her.
So, the other night I tell her that I can't fall asleep because I'm so nervous. And I tell her I've just got so many cares and worries in my head. And this is what she says:
"Climb up into my lap and tell me all about it."
I tell her, "Thanks, Mom. You're my Anxiety Santa."
And so I do – I climb up into her phone lap, and pour out my woes – for about an hour.
I hang up, so much calmer than before, and quickly fall asleep.
Yes, she is my Anxiety Santa – a warm and inviting soul who beckons me to crawl up into her lap, and tell her my deepest, darkest secrets. The one who lets me tell her my wildest wishes, and my biggest dreams. The one who always, always makes my fears subside…
Today, the day before Christmas, I got to pondering.
I've got a bigger Anxiety Santa.
He's the One who came to this earth for all those anxious souls who had no peace. For all those fearful souls who couldn't find rest. For all those hopeless souls who thought they had no future…
He's the One who came.
I can’t tell you the number of times that I've come to Him…
"Hi Jesus, it's me."
Only to hear Him say…
"Oh Sharon, my sweet Sharon. Climb up into My lap and tell Me all about it."
But Jesus doesn't stop there. Yes, He is the One who beckons me to crawl up into His lap, and tell Him my deepest, darkest secrets. The One who lets me tell Him my wildest wishes, and my biggest dreams. The One who always, always make my fears subside…
But you know what else He does?
He adds these words…
"Climb up into My lap and tell Me all about it…and then let Me tell you what I did about it!"
Yes, to me, that's what Christmas is all about.
It's all about a Savior – a Savior who did something about it. About all the pain and suffering and futility of the world. About all the disease and death. About every single sin that man had found a way to commit. About every fear and every possible "what if" scenario…
HE. DID. SOMETHING. ABOUT. IT.
He came – to us, for us – forever.
Here's something I shared two years ago about all that:
It came upon a midnight clear…
A beautiful, cloudless, starlit night –
Angels we have heard on high…
What's that? Can you hear it? It sounds like heavenly music –
Hark, the herald angels sing…
It IS music – it's a heavenly choir! Oh my heart, be still. What are they saying?
O little town of Bethlehem. Away in a manger, round yon virgin mother and child…
Oh, look! A young mother who has just given birth to her first child. And it's – it's a boy!
What child is this…
She and her husband have called him Emmanuel – God with us. His name is Jesus –
For unto us a child is born…
Oh my, this is THE CHILD. The One prophesied from centuries ago. This is HIM – the Messiah!
Holy infant, so tender and mild…
Look at His sweet baby face. His tiny hands and feet, His soft cheeks, His precious mouth, His shining eyes –
I have no gift to bring…
I have nothing – I am poor, lowly in spirit. But He should have something from me – there must be something I can give Him.
O come, all ye faithful. Joyful and triumphant…
Yes! I can give Him my heart! I can be faithful and joyful. He is bringing my victory!
Joy to the world. The Lord is come...
The Lord of lords and King of kings has come to earth! He has brought Light to the darkness, and Life to the dying! He has brought redemption –
Oh come, let us adore Him!
Oh Lord Jesus, how I adore You. Thank you for loving me before the world began. Thank you for coming to earth, to live as one of us. Thank you for understanding what it means to be human. Thank you for dying, for sacrificing Your life – for me. Thank you, Lord – for everything –
O Holy Night...
Yes, the biggest Anxiety Santa of them all came to earth, to each one of us – and He brought GIFTS!
The Gift of Himself.
The Gift of Forgiveness.
The Gift of Life.
The Gift of Forever…
Ho, Ho, Ho…HOLY!
"And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6, KJV)
MERRY CHRISTMAS to all – and to all a good night!
What are you doing to celebrate the birth of our Savior?
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