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It turned out perfectly

have been functioning at a lower level of productivity for the past two weeks.  Not because I am sick, but because my wife is recovering from surgery.  I have always appreciated her but in moments like these I get a real reminder of what a tremendous part of my life she is.  She is doing well and on the way to her full schedule in the near future, for which I am most thankful.

Due to her limited mobility during her recuperation I have had to assume a few additional duties.  Most of my efforts have turned out alright, although not nearly as good as the way she does things.  However, I had one little incidence in which I dropped the ball; more accurately, I dropped the pickles.

On most Sundays she prepares lunch for the children and grandchildren, so with the availability of my help we decided to follow her weekly tradition.  The meal we planned was simpler than her usual good country cooking, but it would still be good. 

As things started to come together we needed a few items from the store.  I went out late on Saturday night to make the purchase, and I left the store feeling pretty good about my success at remembering everything that we needed.  As I loaded the bags of groceries into the car I put one in that contained a jar of pickles, but as I was getting the rest of the bags loaded the jar of pickles rolled out onto the asphalt.  Needless to say, the glass container could not resist the impact; it broke, wasting the precious contents.  It was one of those slow motion moments—I saw what was happening but could only watch as the damage was done.

Being the good Papa that I am, I went back inside and purchased another jar.  Just another opportunity to keep our little girls happy!

Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, things just do not turn out the way we planned.  But we can rejoice that God had a plan for humankind that turned out exactly as it was supposed to.  As we move rapidly toward the celebration of Christmas, we have another great opportunity to reflect upon the birth of the One Who fulfilled God’s plan of eternal life for all who will give their lives to Him.  How careful we should be not to allow the real meaning of this glorious holiday to get smothered out by all the activities that we have attached to it that have little or nothing to do with the true meaning of this holy observance. 

After my initial effort to get that jar of pickles to our house failed, I had to resort to “Plan B”—which meant I had to pay again since I messed up the first attempt.  God’s plan to provide hope for hopeless humankind was perfect from the beginning; no Plan B or second attempt was necessary because His provision of Christ was perfect and He perfectly provided the means of forgiveness and reconciliation with God that we could never achieve on our own.  We are assured in Luke 2:11 that on the first Christmas God’s plan was unfolding just as He had promised:  “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord” (New International Version).

Some of the gifts you give away this holiday season might not meet all the expectations that you hoped for, and some of the things you do might not turn out just right.  You might even have to resort to another plan when your first attempt fails.  But throughout this Christmas season remember that what God provided for us through Christ accomplished exactly what He intended—the opportunity for you and I to receive eternal life through Him.  What a great reason to celebrate!