More Than What We Asked For

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 Posted by Katie

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As I reflected on the theme for this week, it reminded me vividly of an article I wrote for a 2008 Advent Devotional put out by my church at the time, St. Mark’s United Methodist of Daleville, Virginia. I felt it was fitting to post here at the Daily Fast Fuel. Enjoy!

Of the many Christmas memories I have, there is one from my youth that most certainly has a special place in my heart. In 1989, my family went through a bit of a shake-up. My dad had been transferred to work in Cartagena, Colombia in South America. For a time, it was deemed too dangerous for Mom and the rest of us to live with him there. As a result, my mom and siblings and I returned to our home in Houston, TX to live for a year.

That December, we found ourselves in the midst of the holiday season, missing our dad and preparing for our first Christmas without him. Mom had decided that this year we kids and she would celebrate Christmas together just a little early so that on the actual day of Christmas we could travel to visit family. She told us that Santa would be visiting us the morning of the 23rd of December.

The house rule for us was that no one went downstairs on Christmas morning until 7:00am. The house rules sadly did not change just because we were celebrating on the 23rd. So at about 4:00am, as usual, my sister and I began the “are you awake?” conversation. Very shortly thereafter, we heard the anticipated knock on our door.

Our brothers were right on time.

A deck of cards were brought out and we played through the agonizing three remaining hours until we could go downstairs and let the Christmas present extravaganza begin! I remember watching that clock minute after minute, the time slowly inching by. We so looked forward to what awaited us downstairs…it seemed like 7:00 would never come!

Finally, the last hand of Contract Rummy had been played. The hour had arrived. I remember bursting out of our room and into the stairwell, only to discover that what was waiting in the living room…

…no longer held our attention.

You see, each one of us had immediately caught a glimpse of something out of our front window that we had never seen before…certainly not in Houston, Texas.

A white Christmas.

And the fun part was…it was only OUR white Christmas. Remember? It was December 23rd!

I remember running down the stairs with my brothers and sister…right past the living room…and out the front door!

What we thought we were waiting for did not come close to the glorious surprise we found outside.

I will never forget that morning. It was as if God knew how difficult we'
d already had it that year. He had prepared a special gift for our special Christmas.

As I remember that Advent of 1989, it makes me think of the waiting game we are all still playing as we look forward to Christ’s return. I am sure that we all have our own expectations of what awaits us when that time arrives. But, I believe that whatever we can imagine won’t even hold a candle to the brilliance of that moment.

I have a hunch that when the hour comes, it will be a GLORIOUS surprise…and we’ll all run right out the front door to see it.

May it be so.


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