Warning: this is not your usual Christmas post.
I’m a bit like the man who was given a new hammer. Suddenly, everything looks like a nail to him.
My stroke has had a similar effect on me.
I have been thinking about what Christmas was like for the baby Jesus, laying in a manger, asleep on the hay. Was the experience of incarnation like a stroke for him? He had laid aside all the power and privilege of his position within the Trinity.
Bishop John Howe once pondered the way Jesus cried before calling Lazarus from the tomb. Were they tears of sympathy because of what Jesus was calling him back to?
At one point in his earthly ministry Jesus flatly stated that, by himself, he could do nothing. That’s how the stroke has left me feeling. Is this one way to share in the suffering of Jesus?
Jesus learned things through the experience of suffering. And I am at least having a chance to learn something about trusting God after all my life repeating the prayer Jesus taught us: Thy will be done.
As long as God is there and Jesus is increasing, does it matter if I am decreasing?
I assume there were no surprises to Jesus at Christmas. Jesus came anyway.
But this Christmas has surprised me. I’m learning something about what it takes, what it costs, to trust my Heavenly Father.
Perhaps that is His gift to me this Christmas.