by Andrea Grigg
December is by definition an incredibly busy month.
Add in a wedding anniversary and our three kids’ birthdays (I know, I know … what were we thinking?!?) and our December could be a tad busier than yours.
But I don’t care – I love it.
It’s also a time of hope, although this side of Christmas, our hopes tend to be rather arbitrary, eg. I hope the turkey’s cooked properly … I hope it doesn’t rain … I hope Uncle So-and-So behaves himself …
Back in 1987, I hoped our second baby would arrive on time. As it turned out, I could have played Mary in a Christmas pageant.
Eleven days after my due date, I went into labour at 5pm on Christmas Eve. It was also our niece’s second birthday (I told you December’s big for us) so off we toddled to my in-laws for the party. By nine o’clock I was holding up the wall while one of my sisters-in-law timed my contractions.
Eventually, a number of concerned relatives prised my husband away from his game of table tennis (it was a battle of honour between siblings) and ordered to shower before driving me to hospital. Almost two hours later, at 1:16am on Christmas morning, Hayley (no, not Holly) was born.
New life is an incredible thing, and lying there holding our newborn daughter, my husband and I thought all the things parents do when seeing their child for the first time. Who would she take after? What was her personality going to be like? What would she end up doing?
I would have loved to be a fly in the manger and heard that first conversation between Mary and Joseph.
Bringing a life into the world is a powerful thing. And when I think that the Son of God came to Earth in such a helpless and vulnerable way, it’s pretty darn amazing.
There was a world of hope in God’s gift of Jesus. But what is hope? According to Google, it is: A feeling of expectation and a desire for something to happen, a feeling of trust.
It seems to me that this year has been a long and difficult road for many. Countless friends and relatives can’t wait for 2013 to be over and 2014 to begin. They are grieving the loss of loved ones, battling health issues, facing marriage problems and financial crises.
My prayer is that as we remember the birth of Jesus this Christmas, our spirits will be renewed with hope. God loves us so much more than we can imagine. He sees our hearts, hears our cries, and feels our pain. He is Emmanuel, God with us; Christ in you, the hope of glory.
God bless you all this Christmas.
ANDREA GRIGG lives on the Gold Coast, Queensland, and is a writer of contemporary Christian romance. Her first book, A Simple Mistake, was published in April 2012. Recently retired from primary school teaching, Andrea is currently writing her second novel, tentatively entitled, Too Pretty.
Twitter: @andreagrigg https://twitter.com/andreagrigg