Super Mario Bros. / Duck Hunt
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures
Listed above is my Christmas list from when I was ten years old!
I remember that Christmas as if it were yesterday. I woke up about 3am Christmas Day and was heartbroken because I thought Santa had forgotten my brother and I. What I did not realize was that instead of our presents being under the tree, mom and dad had set them under our stockings by the fireplace. I think about that Christmas now and if it were possible, I would simply want to relive it and once again embrace my dad. I wouldn’t care about the toys, or the video games. I wouldn’t care about anything other than spending that time with my family.
Just over a month has passed since dad passed away. Much of November was spent in a fog, like a bad dream, almost as if it was not actually real. Now, reality has began to set in. I find myself driving to meetings, reaching for the phone to call him (as I usually did on long drives), and realizing as I grab the phone that dad cannot answer! Needless to say, my hearts breaks all over again.
As we enter into the Christmas season, I am reminded of the words the angels declared to some obviously frightened and awe struck shepherds in the field in Luke 2:10,11.
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
What amazes me is that even with the announcement of Christ’s birth, the first words spoken by theses angels are words of COMFORT! It is during this time that my family and I need comfort most. It is during this time that God’s people all of this world need comfort. I think of so many folks that have sent cards, texted, called, and simply let us know that they are praying for us! I have heard testimonies from others about God bringing special comfort to them during this time of the year and how their faith has been increased by it. I am so blessed to serve such an amazing Savior!
Though I still have a Christmas “wish list,” it is certainly much shorter now than it was when I was ten. Instead of corruptible objects that would certainly fade away with time, my list is made up of the things I hold most dear. My wife, my children, and my family to name just a few…
However, the other day as I was driving down the interstate heading to Florida for meetings; I caught myself staring at the clouds trying to catch just a glimpse…and no, not of Santa. I caught myself listening intently for that trumpet sound…and no, not sleigh bells. I blinked as quickly as I could hoping that as in the “twinkling of an eye,” that we would all be raptured up together to meet Him in the air!
I thought about how marvelous that day will be when my Jesus I shall see. When I look upon His face, the One who saved me by His grace! When He takes me by the hand, and leads me through the promised land. I thought about what a day, Glorious day that will be!
This year, All I Want For Christmas…Is JESUS!
Merry Christmas from the Underwood Family!
Stephen, Ashlee, Peyton, and Eli
Missionaries to South Africa