A few weeks ago, a brave family friend ventured over to our apartment for a little Christmas photo shoot. Of all the photos she captured, this one is my favorite. It’s our real life. Jack is having a great time but teetering on the brink of trouble. Aidan has figured out how to communicate displeasure. Emma’s cute and clueless. And then there’s Laura and I. Laughing in a “have we lost our minds?” kind of way. Welcome to our life.
It also reminds me of one of the biggest lessons God’s been teaching me this Christmas: Don’t let the longing for perfect prevent you from enjoying good.
We were made for perfect. There’s nothing wrong with that desire; it’s from God. It’s what tugs our hearts towards Him and fuels a longing for eternity. That desperate desire to be in a problem free, pain free, disappointment free, sin free world will be satisfied one day for all of us who follow Jesus. We’ll be with the God who makes all things new. Revelation 21:4 promises, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” I can’t wait for that to be true.
But we’re not there yet. Kids get sick. Photo shoots crumble. Living rooms get messy. Schedules get trampled. Work piles up. Laundry piles up. And, if I’m not careful, I can get so discouraged that everything isn’t perfect, especially at Christmas. I so want to create that magical, perfect holiday for my kids. To be honest, I just want them to want that magical, perfect holiday enough to stop spilling their juice on the coffee table!
But Jesus wasn’t born to admire our perfection. He was born to offer us His. He was born to hang on a cross so that one day we would taste perfect.
Between now and then, I want to enjoy the life I have. I want to see God’s grace in these three beautiful kids, an amazing wife and a church we love deeply. I want to see God’s goodness in my friends, in His creation and through His Word. I want to enjoy my reality and not long for someone else’s.
That’s my prayer for you this Christmas. Don’t let what’s wrong prevent you from enjoying what’s right. Rest in God’s love for you. Celebrate life that knows no end. Perfect is coming. Until then, there’s grace.