The following article is from an occurrence that happened to me about six years ago. Though this article was written long ago, it was never published. And though it is not completely new, I believe like all things, it is happening at the perfect time.
Journey back in time with me to a different year and a different place as I remind myself of the goodness that still comes in walking by faith.
“The past few months have been a whirlwind, to say the least. It hasn’t felt like Christmas due to the busyness and transitions of life. I’ve felt like Cindy-Lou-Who singing “Where are you Christmas?” in that sweet scene of The Grinch.
Where are you, Christmas? Why can’t I find you? Why have you gone away? Did Christmas change or just me?
Tonight, as I walked beachside, I finally felt it a little more. I’ve been to parties, watched the movies, made gingerbread houses, and did all the normal traditions, but tonight, I unwrapped Christmas, deep in my wandering heart.
Jacksonville Beach hosts an event each year called “Deck the Chairs.” I was sitting home doing nothing and feeling sorry for myself so I decided to go. I strolled by the large displays of twinkling lights and gave brief appreciation. I saw children running back and forth without a care in the world. I was secretly desiring their childhood faith and Christmas wonder. They were happy and safe and I so wanted that.
My hurried steps led me all the way to the dimly-lit shore. It was the epitome of a Florida wintery scene. The waves were crashing and in the background, I could hear Christmas songs singing along with the waves. As I stepped further away from the lights, the sea began to drown out the melodies and all I could hear was the water and millions of my thoughts colliding.
I was walking and talking with the Lord when I decided to stop my swift footsteps and breathe in the cool night air. I felt a peace wash over my soul that was purer than the ocean staring back at me. It was about forty degrees but I was warm. The beach was empty, but my heart was full. I sat there with salty tears in my eyes that He was quietly collecting and acknowledging more than the massive salty sea stretching for miles.
You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? Psalm 56:8
The waves in front of me were powerful and white as fresh snow. I found myself unafraid to face them for my focus wasn’t on what they could do to me or how destructive they could be. My concentration was on the One who still controls them.
I was in awe that just months before, this very same beach had been tattered and torn by a hurricane that He allowed to happen. A wave without the Master’s permission is simply standing water. Sometimes He allows destructive waves to prove that they are still under His feet, along with everything else.
“And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.” Ephesians 1:22
All was calm and all was bright. In that chilly, December air God had wrapped His arms around me tightly and let me know everything was going to be okay. I felt Christmas. I understood that “Good News of Great Joy” that is still for all people. I comprehended Emmanuel, God with us, and knew I hadn’t lost Christmas, I had finally found it. Sometimes it takes wandering through deserts, jumping into billowing waves, and following uncertain stars to make us really see the depths of His love and extreme care for His most precious creation. Faith should remain in the Manger- born Savior, not on what we cannot see or control.
Just like words in a popular Christmas song: “Maybe only in our blind belief can we ever find the truth.'”
Rachel Skirvin is a lover of travel, nachos, and the gospel. She is a graduate of Urshan College and will most likely always call it Gateway. She is pursuing her master’s degree in counseling and human services with an emphasis in trauma and crisis and is currently serving at The Pentecostals of Cooper City in South Florida