Santa is a struggle at our house. We don’t teach our children about the commercialized Santa Clause. However, in the world we live in, Santa is everywhere. So we need to talk about him. The day after Christmas, we were talking about the North Pole, and Charlie told me that Santa lived there. I responded saying that there was a North Pole, but Santa didn’t live there.
We have tried to tell him that Santa is not really a person, just a character, but there are other people in our lives that insist on telling him otherwise, along with the story that he flies through the air, and has flying reindeer, and brings the presents.
We always try to bring it back to let him know that we are the ones who get him presents, and where the tradition of gift-giving came from. Saint Nicholas. And so I again guided the conversation is this direction.
But this time the conversation went badly, and this is where I receive the “mom of the year award” for “biggest mom failure”.
I told him that Saint Nicholas didn’t live in the North Pole. He was cool with that.
I told him that Saint Nicholas lived his life to help people, and gave to people in need. He was cool with that too.
And then I told him that he was actually in heaven with Jesus. And this is where it got really bad.
So Santa is DEAD?!?!
Yeah…. getting out of that hole I had just dug myself wasn’t pretty. But thankfully he was more confused than heartbroken.
how do you explain life to a kindergardner?
Explaining life to a Kindergardener is not easy, especially when it goes against what culture, and others teach him. Charlie must have been like those who came across Jesus teaching as He was walking on the earth, trying to understand the Kingdom while only knowing the law.
You want me to forgive those who have wronged me?
Turn the other cheek?
Walk 2 miles, instead of the expected 1?
Love my enemies, and pray for those who persecute me?
But unlike me, Jesus has all the answers. And He gives us the answers in ways that we can understand.
I didn’t understand the forgiveness of my sins thing. It was probably what I struggled with most when returning to my faith. I am a people pleaser, so remembering all of my sins, when becoming friends with people who had lived their whole life for God, was crushing.
And forget being a people pleaser, when you are faced with wanting to please a perfect God. I wanted all He had to offer, but I had made mistakes, I wanted acceptance, but I had run so far. I wanted to be worthy, but I knew I wasn’t enough. My sin had compiled, and I felt the weight of it.
Things haven’t changed much over the past 11 years. I still make mistakes, I still want all He has to offer, I still want Him to accept me, I still want to be worthy, I still want to be enough, and I am still a sinner and can still feel the weight of my sin.
For I will forgive their iniquities and will remember their sins no more. Hebrews 8:12
I remember the night, everything began to make sense, I knew I needed forgiveness, but I couldn’t understand how He could actually forgive me, after all I had done, after how far as I had run.
I felt so much grief for my sin, I was probably feeling like Peter after he denied Jesus 3 times, and his eyes met the eyes of Jesus. Have His eyes ever met you in the midst of shame? Have you wanted to turn away from His gaze?
That night, I felt shame. I asked for forgiveness, but as far as I could understand, a loving God couldn’t love an imperfect me.
When arriving to pick up my dog that night, she had been really bad at my parent’s house. She ate part of their couch, and my mom was mad. She was really mad. And my response was probably how God was responding to me in that moment.
But you will forgive her because you love her.
The forgiveness for my sins, was never based on what I had done. It was based on His love. There was nothing I could have done to earn His forgiveness. There is nothing I could take credit for, to have earned His grace. Yet, it was still there. It is still there.
You have taken account of my wanderings. Put my tears in Your bottle—Are they not in Your book? Psalm 56:8
Forgiveness and grace are acts of love, it is a reflection of His character. And not only did He offer forgiveness of sin…
He saw my tears, but forgot my sin. He still does. This truth has not changed.
Have His eyes ever met your eyes in the midst of shame? Don’t turn away. I am always reminded of the woman who bled for 12 years. She approached Jesus from behind to touch His robe. She knew that if she touched His robe she would be healed, and she was. I imagine that she approached Him from behind because she carried shame. She just wanted to heal, while carrying the fear of more rejection.
The fear was evident when she came before Him trembling. But there would be no rejection here. He had searched the crowd to find her, to look at her and tell her Daughter, your faith has healed you.
I will never fully comprehend this forgiveness thing, and that a perfect God will extend grace to imperfect people who strive to be enough. I will never understand that there is not a thing that we can do to deserve this love, yet He is still there willing to extend it to those who approach His throne with a confident hope in who He is.
God, there is so much we don’t understand about Your unfailing love, yet it is always there. There is so much we don’t understand about Your Kingdom, but You are still on the throne. And although we can’t comprehend Your grace, You still lavish it on us. Although there are things we will never fully understand, help our unbelief, continue to reveal to us Your way, in ways that we can understand. And may You find us, amazed by Your grace, changed by Your love, and full of gratitude because of who You are. In Jesus name, Amen.