I recently had a conversation with a dear friend about family coming to visit for Christmas and the prep work that goes into the whole process. She told me about the many things that were getting scrubbed, polished and organized. I hung up the phone and pondered the countless efforts we put forth so things can be perfect.
Floors are cleaned at the last possible moment, dusting and straightening keeps us scurrying about, menu planning and grocery shopping amidst the crowds and the ideal gifts and decorations. Whew, I was wearing myself out with the thought process!
“Perfect, I just want things to be perfect.” That word again…what is perfect?
Mary must have wanted things to be perfect too: no dust, clean floors, good food, decent accommodations. She knew perfectly well Who was coming! Joseph knew too. He’d been given a thorough explanation from a reputable source. The Savior was expected. Can you sense a desire for perfection?
Yet God had made the arrangements. Surely He’d set everything up perfectly. He is perfection! The dirt floor, even animals being present, no efforts made to straighten or organize a stable, food packed from home – maybe smashed a bit along the way. Our ideas of perfection were seemingly overlooked by the God who authored perfection.
What then was His idea of the perfect setting, the perfect conditions for the only perfect Child? And can we use His standards instead of ours?
I believe God saw perfection in our great need. We needed Jesus and His time had come. That’s it. Our hearts needed Him, His truth and His promises. And it’s the same today.
As you prepare your home for celebration and family this year, please remember how Mary wanted to prepare for the perfect night too. Yet God showed us what He had in mind: our hearts perfectly prepared for a coming King coupled with the excitement and anticipation of His arrival.
Clean your floors, cook that favorite meal and polish your furniture, but do so to create a level of comfort, not perfection. To prepare for the perfect holiday, open your heart and receive Him. Be filled with joy knowing He came for you. It’s all the preparation you really need for the perfect holiday!
About Jan Nellis
Jan Nellis is a happily married mom of five children, three of whom are still at home. She spends her free time rediscovering the lost domestic arts with an emphasis on health issues. An avid quilter, crocheter, hand-spinner and cook, her desire is to rekindle the ways of her grandmothers, blessing her friends and family. She has spoken at women’s groups on forgiveness, following God's plan for your life and the joys of living with God. She currently blogs at www.atinylittleripple.blogspot.com.