Yes, the differences should be obvious. I agree. But this title brings a smile to my face as I actually recall someone praying aloud before a meal last year asking God to bring everything that everyone seated at the table “wanted”. I nearly choked. True story.
Thankfully, God knows what I need and He always fulfills my needs in one way or another. Santa may focus on my wants but he is slightly less dependable 🙂
I’m not going to get everything I want for Christmas this year. I want peace and unity not only for the human race, but in my own circle of loved ones and extended family. I want evil and hateful people to have an immediate, permanent change of heart. I want drugs and alcoholism to be eradicated and replaced with true joy rather than a harmful band-aid to heal hurts. I want marriages to stop suffering and for couples to grasp what a blessing it is to have a person to share your hopes, dreams, history and future with. I want people to live every day like it’s their last instead of wasting hours that turn in to years. I want people to be true friends to one another in words and deeds. I want every belly full and hideous diseases to stop striking people in the prime of their lives or, worse yet, before they’ve even begun to really live.
My list of wants is long and I won’t have them placed neatly under the tree no matter how many letters I write.
If only it were as easy as throwing a stamp on a wish list and sending it off to be fulfilled like a catalog order. God, however, is far more concerned with what I need. He knows who needs to be in my life, what influences need to be removed, what changes I need to make internally, what words I need to hear and what words I need to speak. Despite my ever feeling like He doesn’t know, He does. Despite my ever feeling like he doesn’t truly hear my deepest thoughts and yearnings, He does.
Still, we have all felt like Job at one time or another, haven’t we?
If I go to the east, God is not there; if I go to the west, I do not see Him. When He is at work in the north, I catch no sight of Him; when He turns to the south, I cannot see Him ~ Job 23:8-9
Christ does see our needs and He does know our wants. I truly believe his heart breaks when each and every one of our wants are unmet. He isn’t turning his eyes away in an effort to ignore us; instead, we need to believe that our vigilant waiting will bring us what we need. And, friends, our wants and our needs can be very different.
Santa Claus is for the young and it’s a beautiful wish-upon-a-star ideal. There is nothing like watching children rip through wrapping to discover all of their wants boxed with a name tag. Nothing like watching the unrestrained squeals and unfolding happiness that is written on their faces. I’m actually going to look a little like that because both of my kids will be home from Christmas; there’s my favorite gift this year!
But God isn’t Santa Claus. The joy He brings lasts far after the tree has been hauled to the curb and the toys have been thrown in a closet. He knows my needs today as I prepare for Christmas and He already knows how those needs will be met. Thank you, Santa, for letting us be kids lost in wonder, magic and delight during this season. Thank you, God, for letting us hold on to your promise every single day of the year.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. ~John 14:27
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ~John 16:33