It was a simple, rustic plaque; a picture of me with my horse, Wendy, set inside a horseshoe cutout and the bending, curling of rope to fashion her name above it. I opened it and the tears spilled overcome by the love of a daddy wanting to give what he could for his daughter at Christmas.
Nothing shiny with sale tags dangling or gleaned from a department store shelf surrounded by mobs of holiday shoppers; one hardly acceptable by the world’s standards. But instead, a gift constructed from the calloused hands of a dad spending a late night out in his workshop in a worn flannel shirt bent over the swirling steam of his coffee cup. I imagined him sanding the wood. The tapping of the hammer, working love into every last detail and how he meticulously chose and cut out just the right picture and fit it in place, then with his own hands wrapped it up to rest alone beneath the tree.
I didn’t know about Hope back then…but Hope knew all about me. And He knows you too - even now; even when the peace and joy of Christmas seems overshadowed by the demands of it. The pressure builds on our shoulders when we think we have to follow society’s standards of what we should be doing simply because we’re only a twinkle away from that magical day.
My prayer is that you won’t let the reality of a harsh situation demand your peace, joy and hope this season. Your father has already given you the gift of His Son, and in that you already possess such things.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) NIV
If peace hasn't found you this season, then create it by surrounding yourself with joyful people. Have faith and know that God is aware of your situation, and that He’s already working love into every last detail, meticulously constructing each element of His plan.
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:1-4) NIV