You’d think, with covid this Christmas, things would be a lot easier. But nooo: you have to think up, wrap and ship gifts hither and yon ‘way in advance instead of just plunking them under the tree; you have to send out more cards than usual because there are no parties, no gatherings, no church services where you can greet people in person on the cheap.

Since you’re shut-in by covid, you might as well put out every decoration you own dating back to 100 B.C. (or no, they didn’t HAVE decorations celebrating Christ in the Before Christ era . . . but anyway, they’re old). And there’s always cooking, cleaning, errands, hustle and bustle. . . .

. . . which brings us to the other morning, right before Christmas. I was down to “only” 78  or ‘9 things on my to-do list. How could I get all this done? My mind was whirring like a slot machine. I pulled up to the gas station as I’ve done a million times before. Pulled out the nozzle . . .

. . . and then stared at the pump dashboard for at least 15 seconds. FORGOT HOW TO GET GAS!!!!! AAAIIIEEE!!!!!

Gets worse. Next day, I got to the grocery store early, and was happy it wasn’t too crowded. But while I was inside, the hordes arrived. When I emerged, the lot was jammed. I searched high and low for my car. It is white. Hmm, not in the aisle in which I thought I parked it. Try over here. Try over there. I stood in the 19-degree wind, perplexed. Where’s my white car? I REALLY AM LOSING MY MIND!!! Suddenly, I looked to my left. There was a dirty, ancient, blue Suburban. My pea brain contracted. Oh! THAT was the car I came in! It is “Old Blue” and we use it for messy hunting and gardening tasks. El Magnifico had parked it in the driveway blocking my nice white car. So I took Old Blue that morning and plain forgot. DOUBLE AAAIIIEE!!!

Then I could not remember the name of the dog of our neighbor. Maddy had been pet-sitting for them. They have a lot of pets, all of them with cute names. I asked Maddy if it was time to go walk Jazzy and . . . you know . . . the sunglasses boy . . . she retorted, “THE SUNGLASSES BOY?” . . . humiliation . . . finally remembered that his name is “Oakley.” Maddy gave me that wistful smile of, “Geez, Mom, are you going cuckoo?” . . . which I followed up that evening by losing my glasses and looking all over the house in consternation, only to have her find them in the refrigerator. She held them up with a sympathetic but confirmatory grin. QUADRUPLE AAAIIIEEE!!!

I was in such a tizzy and so distracted, I barely made time to remember our Savior and what Christmas meant to the world.

But there were a few more presents to wrap. So I dragged out of bed real early on Christmas morning and went to my basement lair. Ooh! There was an ancient boom box! I could listen to Christmas carols on the radio as I worked.

Inexplicably, several of the beautiful old songs caused tears to spring into my eyes, or even made me fall on my face on the floor to pray and praise God. I even started trembling.

Hoo boy! Mood swings! What was this all about?!?

It wasn’t ‘til later that day that I found out something I had prayed about for a long time, though not lately, had actually happened. It was great! And it happened on Christmas Day! There was no mistaking how it had happened, and by Whom. Like the Babe in the manger, the miracle happened quietly, though missed by most then, and still most today.

I wasn’t even paying attention to things spiritual, but was scrambling my brains doing stuff that didn’t really matter. Meanwhile, God had my prayer on His infinite to-do list, with His perfect timing, whether I knew it or not.

I should have been focusing on the wondrous, eternal truth. Should, every day. We have a God in heaven who loves us through and through, always has, always will. He will answer our prayers even if we’ve forgotten all about them. Emmanuel: God with us! And it all started that day long ago and finished with the victory on the Cross, our ongoing Holy Spirit help, and eternal life.

That’s the gift nobody can ever forget. Merry Christmas!!!

And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer,

believing, ye shall receive.

–Matthew 21:22

By Susan Darst Williams | | Holidays | © 2020