By Heather Pierce
Every year we have a “fake” Christmas tree. You know–the kind you take apart and put in a box for the next year? However, this year our “fake” tree had some water damage to it from being stored in our basement. So, we threw that tree away earlier this year and I hadn’t thought much about it until now, when we need a Christmas tree for the holiday season. With much coaxing from our daughters we decided on a real Christmas tree–not one from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, but one from a tree farm. So, we drove to a tree farm on a Sunday afternoon after church, found an 8 foot tree that was perfect for our house, threw it in the truck, paid for it and then the fun began.
When we brought it in we couldn’t get the tree straight in the stand. I tried, my husband tried. He tried slamming it in, gently putting it in, rearranging it, taking it out and putting it back in—well, you get the picture. There may have even been a few choice words said about having to even have a Christmas tree thrown in there.
As I sit and write this, I think of all the work we must be–all the choice words God could say about us. The times God would like to pick us up and throw us out the door like we wanted to do with our tree, but he doesn’t. Instead he sent his only son to us. Instead of giving up on us, God gave us all he had. Out of his love and frustration came his greatest gift of all.
I wonder: when we get frustrated and want to quit–if we stop, breathe and think–if we can come up with a much better solution to what we need to accomplish, say or fix.
I’m glad we have this real Christmas tree this year and I am enjoying looking at it, even without all the trimmings. I am soaking up its pine scent and looking at all its uneven branches that make it genuinely unique, just as God is to us and we are to him.
May you go to your tree farm and find your own tree, laugh while you put it up because it probably won’t be the easiest thing to do, but then sit back and relish the uniqueness of God, his love and devotion to you this Advent season.
Heather Pierce is a CBF Leadership Scholar attending Central Baptist Theological Seminary.