We had our passports, plane tickets, and packed bags. Our entire family had gathered at the airport, eager to begin the Christmas vacation we’d anticipated for months. (To clarify, this was years ago, before COVID-19.)
The trip would double as a sort of family reunion. Close relatives from another province were meeting us at our destination, so we’d all celebrate Christmas poolside together.
But our flights were cancelled. At the airport. Totally unexpected. “Disappointment” is an understatement. It was like a kick in the gut.
It’s the same feeling I had during yesterday’s announcement of the new restrictions here, completely eliminating a majority of our much-anticipated Christmas traditions with family.
Our anticipation of Christmas this year held greater intensity. We have a hope and a longing for connection and celebration and comfort like never before. But now, what we’ve been looking forward to has been cancelled, like our once-in-a-lifetime vacation.
In my despair, my eyes fell on Philippians 3:20-21.
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”
This earth is not our home. That reunion I want at Christmas is nothing compared to the one we’ll celebrate in heaven!
What our hearts ultimately long for is our Savior, Jesus Christ. Our hope is not in a plane ticket, a passport, or a pandemic cure. It’s in a Person. And He has the power to subject all things to Himself. All things. He’s in control of all things.
Continue reading through Philippians 4. We *can* rejoice in all things, even cancelled family gatherings, because this isn’t final. It’s a delay. We *can* learn to be content in “any and every circumstance”, even cancelled traditions, because Jesus Christ is more than enough and His Spirit will strengthen us.
It’s hard. I won’t deny it. There’s real grieving.
But my unmet expectations are a vivid reminder that we’re not home yet. Jesus is coming soon and, when He does, we’ll have the most unfathomable festive celebration! Let’s fix our eyes on Him, remember who He is, what He’s done, and who we are in Him.
THAT’S cause for celebration!