Crosswalk the Devotional

 

Sometimes It Takes Two Christmas Trees
by Laura MacCorkle

He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil. 1:6, NIV

If you want to put up your Christmas tree one more time again this year, raise your hand.

I didn’t think so. And I didn’t want to put up my trusty, artificial Christmas tree again this year either, but I had to. You see, when I put up my first tree right after Thanksgiving, I knew that the rigging I had done to make sure the top half of the tree stayed in place was on its last leg and that I would need to break down and purchase a new tree next year.

But then something funny happened on the way to December 25. A couple of days later, the top half just fell off. As in, completely toppled over and onto my living room floor. For a second, I thought about just abandoning having a Christmas tree at all this year. I was frustrated and had already put in so much effort. Why go through this whole rigmarole again in the very same week?

But something in me wouldn’t give up. I WILL have a Christmas tree, I thought. And I’ll find a way and the time to get a replacement tree bought and decorated this week!

So I regrouped, purchased another tree and started all over again. Now, what I don’t enjoy about putting up my tree is the unfurling of all of the branches that have been smashed up in the tree’s box. And then even more unenjoyable than that is when I have to wrap the lights around the tree. The fake needles and branches scratch up my hands as I’m pushing lights into all of the nooks and crannies. It stings my skin, but I do it so that there’s a beautiful glowy backdrop for all of my ornaments.

Once I get past all of that, then I actually do enjoy putting up my Christmas tree. First, I put the tree skirt in its place. Next, I lace around the sparkly garland. And then, since I have multiples of many ornaments (glass icicles, dangling bells, painted balls, etc.), I strategically place them first so that not all of one type of ornament is having its own holiday gathering on one branch of the tree. After I’ve done all of that, then I can place the one-of-a-kind ornaments here and there, pop the tree topper on the tree top and Christmas is good to go.

So then, there was great rejoicing when the Christmas tree was completed (and no, that’s not a Bible verse). I just love looking at this beautiful creation. And to see it sparkle and glow... well, it makes for something glorious in my home.

Perhaps that’s how the Father feels when he looks at us, his divine creations. How many times has he had to pick us back up when we’ve toppled over our lives? Or unwind the tangled mess we’ve made because of our disobedience to him? Somehow, in his great love, he never gives up on us. Because Jesus made a way for us to come to the Father, God is faithful and continually works to make us radiant and pleasing to him.

I’m thankful God doesn’t tire of putting me back together each and every day of the year. In fact, if I know him, and I do, I think even if it took putting up a gazillion Christmas trees that he will never tire of working in our lives so that we might glorify him.

Intersecting Faith & Life: How has the Father shown you his kindness, his patience and the ways that he is long-suffering toward you this year? Thank him for the gift of his Son this Christmas and that because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed (Lam. 3:22).

Further Reading:

John 1:3-4, NIV

Rom. 2:4, MSG

Heb. 13:21, NIV

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