by Molly Dillon / Keizer Campus Principal
An unintentional Dillon family tradition is to choose a Christmas tree size that exceeds the opening of all entrances to our home, and almost certainly exceeds the height of our living room ceiling. However, as the Angels advised, we “fear not”, for man has created the ingenious tree baler. For two additional Christmas dollars, this wondrous device downsizes the oversized. This year's Turkish ten-footer was transformed into a manageable slim and trim bundle.
Once properly placed in the living room, my husband begins the process of patiently unwrapping the tree. Releasing the twine at the top and working his way down, he ever so slowly and carefully frees each branch. Within minutes, the “Turk” is transformed from its unnaturally bound position, into the fullness and beauty it was created for. The fact that no branch snaps or breaks off despite being bound so tightly astonishes me.
I am also astonished by how God reveals truth through creation. By the light of the Christmas tree, I recalled seasons where circumstances, pressures, and situations bent me to the point of thinking, perhaps this time, I might just break. Other seasons I found myself unable to move or breathe, bound tightly by various struggles rooted in sin or pride. Yet, there always appeared a juncture where that patient, still small voice asked me “Are you ready to let go and be set free?”
Christmas is God’s perfectly placed reminder of who He is and whose we are. “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.” Isaiah 9:6. He alone is our Wonderful Counselor, always present, providing wisdom, guidance, incomparable love, unsurpassed power and resources used to do what only He can do on our behalf. He is Mighty God when we need a protector, or strength to loosen the most heinous of knots in our lives. He is our unchanging Everlasting Father who comforts us, patiently working to keep our thoughts fixed on eternity and off our momentary tribulations. He alone is our Prince of Peace; there is no true peace apart from him.
As we continue preparing our hearts to celebrate God’s promises fulfilled, we joyfully remember that He takes us from being bound, to being blessed. Carefully and lovingly,He unwraps whatever sin or circumstance binds us, weakens us, or hinders us in our relationship with HIm. Only then can our lives experience the freedom, fullness, and beauty we were uniquely created for.
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14
– Molly Dillon / Keizer Campus Principal