So then death worketh in us, but life in you. 2 Corinthians 4:12 (KJV)
Christmas is my favorite time of year. In fact, my housemates and I threw a “Christmas in July” birthday party for one of the girls in our dorm. My husband, on the other hand, hated Christmas when I met him. Bad memories kept him from enjoying the season. He went so far as to force a roommate to take down his little Christmas tree, threatening to throw it in the street.
You can imagine my chagrin when our first Christmas together rolled around and we didn’t celebrate. I longed to snuggle on the couch and watch the lights on the tree with a hot cup of tea and holiday music in the background. But “Cozy Christmas” was not to be—that year, at least. Resigned, I let it go. We didn’t have a Christmas tree for three years.
Since that time, my husband has changed dramatically. He now loves Christmas as much as I do. He lays out ornaments, then patiently holds miles of lights while I weave them through the branches.
Why this change, I wondered? I tried not to be pushy about wanting to celebrate, but I couldn’t help missing it. Then God revealed to me that through the sacrifice of something I loved came the healing that my husband needed. It was a lesson I’ll never forget. We cannot force people to change; but when we die to ourselves, God is able to bring life to others. And isn’t that what Christmas is really all about?
Thank You, Lord, for Your gentleness in our struggles and heartaches. May we glorify You this Christmas with hearts of praise for Your Son—born to die so that we could live.
© 2010 Katherine A. Fuller