Christmas is almost here up on Rocky Top. The kitchen is a mess: powdered sugar everywhere, dishes in the sink, and the garbage is overflowing. “All is Well” is playing in the background and though my life might appear to be “picture perfect” on the outside to some, my eyes well up with tears.
All is not well. Hurt, pain, tragedy surround Rocky Top as well as others in the world.
My eyes might be filled with tears but truly there is much joy in my heart. Preacher said Sunday that if we want Joy in our hearts, we must not look at circumstances, what others have said about us or have done to us, but we must look and see what God has done. In Luke 1:47, Mary rejoiced when she saw Elizabeth. The word “rejoice” in this passage means to shout loudly “Look what God has done.” As an unwed, pregnant teenager in a culture where stoning was the punishment for immorality, Mary had many reasons not to be joyful. Yet, she made the supernatural choice to choose Joy.
As shared before up here on Rocky Top, my dad was not a good man for most of his life. He had 4 wives. Mom was his first. We might have lived in the same city for many years, but his visits were not frequent. Dad’s life was about dad until he met Christ. After thirty years of many calling out his name to the Heavenly Father, Dad received Christ in February of 1995. His life changed radically.
Christmas times after that were so much different. Dad would come visit before Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Presents would be exchanged, meals eaten, prayers said. He always, always left to drive home before Christmas Eve. We would beg him to stay. Not sure why he wouldn’t.
One Christmas day we received the following email from him.
To My Girls:
As I sat down to write, it is Christmas Eve night. I attended a candle light service and was feeling a loneliness that I never felt before. Because I have no Christmas tree, I came back to my apartment and placed the candle in a bowl and lit the candle again. As the light from the candle begin to glow, I knew that I was not alone. Christ was by my side and I began to rejoice in His Love.
From the light of my small candle, I knew that God had not only given His Son to guide and love me, but also has given me a gift of very precious daughters. The gift that each of you have given me is more priceless than any material thing on this earth, and that is my grandchildren. Each one of them holds a very special place in my heart.
You have taken the love you have in the Lord, and placed it in the hearts of your children. I know that you could not have accomplished this without the help and love from your spouses. I feel very proud and blessed to know these fine men of yours. For each is a very loving husband and father.
My candle is just about out. Although it will stop burning, the love I have for the Lord, you, your husbands and the grandchildren will burn forever. I pray each day that God will guide and protect you, and that He places an Angel by the side of each grandchild to protect them.
May Christmas be alive in all our hearts each day and may the Son of God always be with you.
With All My Love, Dad
And so friends and family, Look what God has done!
Merry Christmas and may your life this season declare: Look What God Has Done!