Christmas Peekers and Chronic Worriers
By Belinda Elliott
CBN.com I had to chuckle when I heard the report on the news. A South Carolina mother had her 12-year-old son arrested for opening one of his Christmas gifts early. Maybe I shouldn’t find that humorous. But I feel her pain.
The month of December at my house is one long game of hide and seek. I carefully find the most creative places I can to hide my husband’s Christmas presents, and he spends the month trying to find them. He also asks me at least once a day what I’ve bought him for Christmas.
Why is it that some people just can’t wait and be surprised on Christmas morning?
I have a sneaking suspicion that in my husband’s case it is because he wants to know if I’ve gotten him the things that were on his list. Does he not trust me to pick out good gifts for him?
People like that have always amazed me. They just have to know what they are getting days in advance.
Many of my childhood friends had this process down to a science. On the bus ride to school they wowed me with their stories of how they had deviously located all of their presents, carefully unwrapped them to see what they were, and then skillfully wrapped them back up so their parents would not notice.
I, on the other hand, learned at an early age what happened to children who peeked at their presents. My parents warned me that if I were to ever try such a trick, my presents would promptly be returned to the store.
Were they serious? I never tested them to find out.
Now that I’m an adult, the thought of searching out my presents ahead of time still never crosses my mind. I would be very disappointed if I got up on Christmas morning and found no surprises under the tree.
I guess I’ll never be a card-carrying member of the Christmas Peekers Club.
I was relishing that thought recently, and feeling quite self-righteous, when God quietly spoke to me.
Then why do you do that with me?
“Why do I do what, Lord?”
You always want to know what is around the bend. You ask me about what the future holds. You want me to tell you all the plans I have for you right now, rather than waiting to see how I bring them about in your life.
“Wait, that’s not the same thing!”
But He had a point. He usually does.
I guess being a chronic worrier is just as bad as being a Christmas peeker. Maybe it’s worse. Last time I checked I don’t think the Bible said anything about sneaking a peek at our Christmas presents.
But God’s Word does tell us, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:25-27)
Why do I want to know all of God’s plans for me ahead of time? Do I not trust Him to provide for me?
I think the reason is much like my husband’s reason for seeking out his Christmas presents. I have a list of all the things that I would like for God to do for me. Sometimes my prayers become nothing more than a request for a status report.
“What about this one right here, God. Number 147: I’d like to buy a house in 2007. We are heading into January, you know. How’s that house thing coming? Are you working on that one yet?”
Not all my requests are so materialistic, but they all have one thing in common. I want to see them happen according to my timetable, rather than waiting on God.
Perhaps I worry that God’s plans are contrary to mine. What if He doesn’t want to give me what’s on my list?
But the Bible tells us that our Father in Heaven desires to give good gifts to His children (Matthew 7:11). He may not always answer our prayers in the way we want, but He always answers in ways that are best for us and that bring Him glory.
And God’s timing is perfect.
I remember in college when I was praying for God to reveal to me who my future husband would be. The Holy Spirit would often lead me to a verse in Psalms. “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)
God was trying to teach me that my focus needed to be on Him, and He would bring everything else into place at the right time.
As it turns out, I did meet my husband in college. But we didn’t start dating or become engaged until years later. At just the right time God brought our lives back together. He provided me with a mate who is a perfect match for me -- even if he does rifle through the house each December in search of Christmas presents.
So this year as I carefully hide each of my husband’s presents, I will try to remember that God, too, has good gifts in store for us. And at just the right time He will deliver them.
I will trust Him and His plans for me, as I look forward to the day when He reveals all of His surprises.
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More articles by Belinda on CBN.com
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