“The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” – Luke 2:11 (NLT)
In my family growing up, Christmas day was the day of opening presents. The only exception to this was that on Christmas Eve, after the reading of the Christmas story from Luke, my mom would choose one gift from under the tree that my sister and I were allowed to open. Usually it was not a gift that I “wanted” but definitely something I “needed” like some new pajamas. We were thankful, but it wasn’t exactly what we wanted the most.
As the angels came to the shepherds that night to announce the birth of Jesus, God’s great gift to the world, they declared that the SAVIOR, the MESSIAH, the LORD had been born. People had been anticipating the coming Messiah for years. What they “wanted” was a Messiah that would lead them to prominence on the world stage… someone who would throw off the shackles of Roman occupation. What they “needed“ was a Messiah that could take away sin forever, create a more intimate relationship with God, and throw off the shackles of a selfishly motivated world.
Sometimes, our “wants” get the best of us when it comes to God. We want comfort, health, prominence, prestige, power, and money and our prayers can begin to reflect all the things that we want so much. Yet, God in all his infinite wisdom knows what we need. He knows the discomfort we need to create discipline. He knows the lack of prominence we need to create humility. He knows the lack of money we need to create dependence on Him.
Trust God, knowing that what you perceive as good or not so good is all a gift from God and exactly what you need to become all that He wants you to be. All of this is possible, only because one night, God gave us exactly what we needed… His Son, the Messiah, our Lord and Savior. Thank Him today for the gift of Jesus, and express your trust in God for the circumstances that are in your life right now that are not what you want.