Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you. He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him.-Isaiah30:18
When I was a small boy, Christmas was a very special time for me. It was a time of waiting with great anticipation for all that the season had to offer. Although we had very little, my great grandmother always managed to make it special. Sometimes I wonder how she managed it.
We always waited until the week before Christmas to choose our pine tree. Grandma knew that it would soon dry out sitting in our small living room with our only source of heat. She would bring out our one small box of shiny glass ornaments, two strands of lights ( the bubbling kind that had the shape of small candles), and a lighted star for the top of the tree. I waited every night for her to turn on those lights so I could watch the bubbles go up and down inside the glass tube, and watch the lights magically reflect on the few glass ornaments. My bed was a fold out sofa, and I slept in the same room as the Christmas tree. For a week, I had the pleasure of smelling live pine as I drifted off to sleep dreaming of the gifts Santa would bring.
At our house, presents were never seen under the tree until Christmas morning. Each year I tried to stay awake to see Santa Claus, but for some reason I would always fall asleep before his arrival. Waiting for that special day seemed like an eternity, but Do-Do, my great grandmother, seemed to have a way of making it worthwhile. She would repeatedly tell the story that God had a way of making all gifts we received special for our needs and even our desires. Even though the gifts were not always the ones wished for, they were special and appreciated. She would say,“Always be happy with what you receive, even if it is not what you anticipated. God knows what you need, Bill Jack, and he will always provide, but sometimes we have to wait for those special gifts.” I now realize it was her way of preparing me for any disappointment that I might have, but I was never disappointed. There would always be at least one special toy, a small box of hard candy, a stocking with fresh fruit and nuts, and some much needed new clothes.
I’m sure she made many sacrifices so I might have those gifts. God knew what I really needed was the loving home my great grandmother created for me.