This weekend, our family began to decorate our home for Christmas. As we set up our tree, I was reminded of a scene from a popular Christmas movie. I referenced the scene where a squirrel jumps out of the family Christmas tree causing all sorts of mayhem, and my husband laughed in response. In another scene from that movie, the main character lavishly decorates the house with an exorbitant amount of Christmas lights. Each stage of the decorating process is expressed with extreme emotion. The main character, Clark Griswold, had a clear vision of the final result and would not be deterred from the task at hand of covering their home with lights. He labored late into the night, and he prepared at great length for the moment they all anticipated when the house would be aglow with brilliant lights!

Yesterday, I read the account of King David making preparations for the building of the temple from 1 Chronicles chapters 26-29. King David would not be allowed to build the temple himself or see the final result, but God gave him a clear vision of how it would look and what would be needed. The whole Israelite community came together in great anticipation and excitement and gave generously to the work, and they set about providing for every detail of building a house for God and a place for the ark of the covenant. 

It might be a bit of a stretch, but I couldn’t help but see the similarities between Clark’s Christmas decorations and Solomon’s temple, which King David envisioned. Both included a clear vision, extended and laborious effort and preparation, great anticipation and excitement… awaiting a glorious revealing and final result.

As Christmas draws near, we begin to prepare our hearts to celebrate the arrival of Jesus. If you have young children or grandchildren, you may notice the excitement and anticipation in their eyes. While they may not even fully understand what is to come, they are overwhelmed with excitement in anticipation. Do you feel that excitement?

As adults, we tend to lose some of that excitement. Even Christmas Day may begin to be seen as just another day, simply an extra day off work. We may even feel it is a drudgery, with all the extra work of decorating and buying gifts and cooking special meals and treats. Do you get bogged down in the details and the work, or are you so excited about the end result that you enjoy every detail, even the tedious and difficult parts?

For those of us who are Christians, we not only prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus when He came to earth, but we are also preparing for the second coming of Christ when He will return to rule over all – forever! Do you feel the excitement as you anticipate His return, even though you don’t know exactly what to expect? Do you find joy in even the smallest details, the complex tasks, the tedious aspects of life as we prepare and await His arrival? I have to admit that I personally tend to get bogged down in the details of the work and forget to focus on the end result. That seems to be the key: to focus on that final glorious revealing. Just as a child trusts their mother or father as they describe the beauty and joy of Christmas, we also trust that God is providing something glorious that will be well worth all our preparation and anticipation.

In the same way that Clark hadn’t yet worked out every detail with his Christmas lights in the movie, the details are still being worked out in our lives as well. We must not give up hope when our first attempt to flip the switch and light up the house doesn’t yield the result we had hoped for. And we should really try to avoid responding in frustration with kicking the plastic Santa into the air! (My apologies to those who haven’t seen the movie and may not understand the reference. Hopefully, you can picture the scene in your mind.) Perhaps this silly similarity will help you to remember the significance of our faith. Just as Clark continued to believe that he could find the solution and light up the house, we continue to believe in the vision of glory that has been described to us in the Bible. When we prepare our hearts and take time to really think about the future joy that awaits us, we can rejoice continually in every little detail, and even the more difficult or most challenging aspects of preparing can be filled with joy. Don’t give up when the lights are all a tangled mess and when nothing seems to be working as it should. “Press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called you heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14) Remember the end result, enjoy the anticipation, and keep working out the details of preparing for the glorious revealing that is to come!

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Julie LaQuey is a follower of Jesus Christ, intent on sharing the hope of heaven and the Truth of God’s Word and His great love to others. She is wife to Tyce, married 26 years, and mother to Caleb (age 23), Abby (age 20), and Luke (age 15). Tyce and Julie have formally educated their children at home since the fall of 2006. Julie is passionate about helping women learn to respect their husbands, value their children, and love God above all.