Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Disappointing Christmas Gift

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace…He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom…Isaiah 9:6-7 

The first rays of sunlight peeked through the curtains. Christmas morning had finally arrived! I tumbled out of bed and ran down the hall with my brothers and sisters in tow. My little bare feet carried me as fast as I could go on the cold linoleum. I had waited months for my beautiful red tricycle with a bell on its handlebars, red-and-white streamers, and a wooden wagon attached behind the trike, fireman’s style, to complete the ensemble. My anticipation heightened the closer I got to the living room and the Christmas tree.

I stopped short. To my surprise, a plain green tricycle sat under the tree. Where was the shiny red trike and wagon I had asked for? Apparently, the North Pole ran out of those particular trikes and delivered the plain green one on Christmas Eve instead. To say I was disappointed is an understatement.

The Israelites had a similar reaction to the gift of their Messiah. For hundreds of years, they had anticipated Isaiah’s proclamation of a Savior to rule like no king ever had in their history. Instead, they got a meek baby lying in a plain, no frills manger. Adding to their disappointment was the fact he was a mere carpenter’s son and, after a three-year ministry, was prepared to die on a cross. To save them from their sins? Did he not see the throat-hold the Roman Empire had on them?

The Jewish people couldn’t embrace this kind of Messiah. He didn’t fulfill their expectations. Even one in Jesus’ inner circle was disappointed enough to betray him.

I can’t say I got over my disappointment any easier than the Israelites. I never forgot the shiny red tricycle with its wooden wagon, bell, and streamers, although I had hours of fun on the plain green trike until I outgrew it.

When our expectations of God’s blessings don’t quite match what we receive, it’s easy to grumble and think our solution would have been better. Why didn’t He just answer our prayer according to our plans?

Trust God to bless you in the way He deems best. Our Savior Jesus Christ turned out to be the most perfect gift of all!

If you have a prayer need this Christmas, please share it in the comments section. If your request is confidential, please e-mail me. While you’re here, would you also take a moment to lift up others in prayer? Thanks.

Are you struggling with loss and grief during the holidays? The last two years I’ve shared these guest blog posts about coping with loss through the holidays. If you’re grieving, I hope you will find some solace in these blog posts as these ladies shared how their faith got them through their toughest days. J

My sister Teresa wrote about her first Christmas after losing her husband to pancreatic cancer just four months before. Click here to read.  
My friend Betty wrote about losing her son in a motorcycle accident six months before Christmas. Click here to read. 
My friend Kristin wrote about losing her father through a hospital error and then her three-year-old son being diagnosed with leukemia a month later. This happened three months before Christmas. Click here to read.
I'm excited to share that this blog was accepted into the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid. "Bible Gateway Blogger Grid (BG²) is an international network of independent bloggers who meaningfully blog—and who are serious—about matters relating to the Bible." ( Gateway is a tremendous resource, not only for writers but for any Christian serious about Biblical research. It also has scores of devotions you can receive through e-mail on varying topics like Max Lucado's “Five Days of Hope,” as well as many other resources. If you've never visited this website, take a few moments to do so. You'll be blessed.

Merry Christmas,
Laura J

© Laura Hodges Poole


  1. Beautiful post Laura. I think we have to be clear about the reason we celebrate Christmas in the first place. Christ was born on Christmas day in a lowly manger made of hay...he wasn't born in a palace and adorned with a crown or regal robe. Celebrating Christmas is a good thing. Having unrealistic expectations of ourselves, others, and God can lead to huge disappointment. Thanks for sharing!!

    1. You're right, Michelle. If we keep our focus on the true meaning of Christmas, then any perceived disappointment seems small. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. God bless you.

  2. Laura I read this while waiting to hear if Tony got the job with the county. I hope my expectations are realistic and this was not a sign to prepare me for a no -lol. Please continue to pray for God's will in this matter - he is suppose to hear something by tomorrow.

    Congratulations on the blog being accepted into Bible Gateway Blogger Grid!! Much deserved!

    Merry CHRISTmas!!

    1. I will continue to pray for Tony's employment. I hope this includes him getting the job with the county. God's never late or early in delivering us. Thanks for the congrats. I really appreciate your friendship and faithful prayer support. Merry Christmas and God bless.

  3. Congrats on having this post accepted to Bible Gateway! I love that site!

    Great post. I'm guilty of thinking I know better than God, but His ways are perfect and mine are far from it.
    It's so easy for Christians to condemn those who didn't believe in the Baby Jesus, but we deny Him all the time.