Watching with Obedience

Advent Thoughts – Day 4

“God’s Blessings in our lives do come with a condition: Obedience.” (Jim Gallery)

The voicemail came from a neighbor that didn’t have my mobile number, which meant my wife had given it to him. She and the kids were in Florida with her parents, while I worked away here, in the week before Christmas. This could only mean that whatever he wanted, my wife expected me to be there for him. As the voicemail outlined that he needed someone to play Santa Claus for thirty kids at his Christmas Party, I became agitated. She knew how I felt about the “Santa Claus” issue, and how she’d tiptoed around it with our kids, quickly stepping in to answer when questions arose so that I wouldn’t. I stewed on it for an hour or so, waffling on whether or not to call my wife and ask her why she had set this man on me. In the end, I didn’t call; she had given him my number, which spoke plainly enough.

I called him back, and agreed. He had the suit and would bring it by, and go through the part I was to play and details that evening, because the party was the very next night and someone else had backed out at the last minute and the kids had already been told Santa was coming. He was desperate.

Then I made the tougher call, to the friend I had planned on having dinner with that night, to cancel. He’d recently had a Down’s Syndrome baby; he and his wife were housebound with minimal visitors owing to the fragile condition of the newborn’s lungs. I had offered to take him out to dinner just to give him a break. When I explained what happened, he took it well enough.

Twenty minutes later he called me back. “Could you possibly come over in the Santa suit tomorrow night? My wife has been so depressed about the first baby and no pictures with Santa for baby’s first Christmas. It would mean so much to her.”

There was no reluctance this time around, now that God had revealed in full that His plan and His love for this young family far outshone my own, and that, through obedience, I would have had a part in it.

Special thanks to: B. Baker
Liberty Hill Church


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