This piece is a re-post from December 18, 2013. As I re-read it today it was as inspiring to me now as it was when I wrote it. I hope it is good for your heart, too.
It’s not real unusual for God to ask me questions. But I really wasn’t expecting the one that came the other day. True, I was talking to Him, but about something else. He abruptly changed the subject with this out-of-the-blue question: What do you want for Christmas?
“Excuse me? Did I hear that right?”
Yes, child, what would you like for Me to do for you for Christmas?
I was surprised, of course. In spite of the fact that prayer is, at its most basic level, about talking to God about what we need, I really wasn’t thinking about giving Him a Christmas wish list. But here He was, inviting me to ask.
I knew right away that the gift He had in mind wasn’t on the “Top Gifts for 2013” lists—stuff like Keurig brewers, iPads, and anything with the North Face® insignia. No, God is into giving gifts of the more imperishable kind. He also likes to give gifts that we could never buy (or make happen) for ourselves. And, because He’s such a good Father, He likes to give us gifts that He knows will fit and serves us well.
It didn’t take me long to decide what I really wanted. It is something that I cannot buy for myself and I cannot make it happen—I know because I’ve tried! Humanly speaking, it is pretty much impossible. Because it’s so impossible, I have all but stopped praying about it. Instead, I pray a kind of “help me endure, help me cope, build my character in this disappointing situation.”
But it would be easy for God to give me this particular gift. What I want is right and good. It would please Him to give it to me, I have no doubt about that. In fact, He would have as much pleasure watching me enjoy this gift as I would have enjoying it.
Nevertheless, I have no idea how He might accomplish it. I cannot begin to imagine how He could pull this off. But the Christmas story is all about impossible. God becomes Man? A virgin bears a child? Angels announce the news to shepherds? Wise men follow a star to Bethlehem? Christmas is all about impossible.
So I asked. I said, “Father, what I’d really like for Christmas is . . .” and I told Him the longing of my heart. Of course He already knew . . . and I think maybe that’s why He asked me in the first place.
How about you? What do you want from God for Christmas this year? Will you ask Him for it?