Once upon a time, there was a little girl who lived in the Land of Plenty. Year after year, she always had her needs met and exceeded and her toy box was always full. The little girl had every ‘thing’ she ever needed and then some. The little girl and her parents did not get along very well. It was sad because they wanted to get along – really they loved each other very much. They just did not know how to show each other.
Each year, at Christmas time, the little girl and her family would go out and get a special Christmas tree. They would take time picking it out and trimming it. The little girl cherished the special memories that went with Christmas, especially since her family was together.
As the little girl got older and had her own family she continued the tradition of the Christmas tree. She and her family and her mother made it an even bigger and better tradition. They would go out to a tree farm and hike through the woods searching for the most perfect of trees. They would laugh and play in the snow, debating whether or not the eight foot tree would fit with their seven foot ceilings. The little girl’s children would saw down the tree and hump it back out to the roadway so it could be taken to the measuring station and wrapped to go home.
Christmas by Christmas, more and more memories pervaded the little girl’s vision of the Christmas tree.
One year, the little girl’s mother got sick. She was not able to go out into the woods to cut down trees anymore. As a gift, the little girl’s mother bought her an artificial tree. The artificial tree was perfect. It was just the right size. It was just the right fullness. It was pre-lit. It fit exactly into the corner. It was not going to shed any needles so it would be less work. It could go up in October if that was what the little girl wanted (it wasn’t but it could).
The little girl tried to be thankful. She knew that the tree was a gift. She knew that it was given in love. It just did not matter. The artificial Christmas tree was so disappointing to the little girl that she had a lot of trouble liking it at all.
The little girl loved God. She trusted Him to take care of her and she knew that her attitude about the artificial Christmas tree was not right. God helped the little girl by reminding her of another Christmas tree.
Years ago, the little girl and her mother and her brother went on a trip. While they were away, they went to a Resistance Museum. The Resistance worked together to try and free the people in Europe from the Nazis. In the Museum, there was a display from a concentration camp. In one of the cases, there was a Christmas tree. It was the littlest Christmas tree the little girl had ever seen. Someone had found a ball of tinfoil and made it a base. The tree was about 15 cm tall. It was the twig end of a branch with a few smaller twigs shooting off from the sides. To decorate the tree, the prisoner of war had stretched a cotton ball from branch to branch.
Sitting next to guns and memories of broken homes and families, the littlest Christmas tree, was more than a memory. It was a symbol of hope and trust. The littlest Christmas tree was an act of thanksgiving even in the most horrific of circumstances.
The little girl looked again at the new artificial tree in her living room. God was showing the little girl that her great big tree was really not what she was missing. She was missing the memories and moreover, she was missing the hope and joy that truly is the meaning of Christmas.
The little girl felt very sad that she had so completely missed the point. She made a decision. The little girl decided to be thankful. Thankful not only for a beautiful tree but also thankful for her family, her memories, her freedom and most of all, thankful for her wonderful God.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
God loves that little girl so much that He has provided every good and perfect gift she could ever need.
The greatest gift of all and the TRUE meaning of Christmas, God gave the little girl over 2000 years ago…
“For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Say that verse again only put your name in place of the highlighted words. Like this:
For God so loved the Little Girl that He gave His one and only Son, that if the Little Girl believes in Him she shall not perish but have eternal life.
As much as God loved the little girl, He loves you too and He wants to share the joy of Christmas with you. Will you let Him?