After one of the most hectic presidential elections of all time, some hot chocolate, eggnog, and chestnuts roasting by an open fire are exactly what the doctor ordered. It is once again the most wonderful time of the year, which means a few things are assured: colder weather for many of us in the U.S., sleigh rides, and wish lists for Santa.
Ever since I was a kid, like many others across the country, I struggled to sleep at night because of my anxiousness. I was so excited for what the jolly man in the red and white suit was going to bring me, and many times I would not sleep at all on December 24.
Additionally, I remember always making a list of what I wanted for Christmas, which typically consisted of gaming consoles and things like that. I usually got most of what I wanted because my family has been very blessed financially and can afford to have a nice Christmas. Because of my youth and lack of extensive knowledge about God, I always directed my wish list to Santa, instead of the God who created our universe.
Undoubtedly, children across the country will do the same this year, in the hopes that Santa will bring them a new bicycle, their favorite stuffed animal or whatever they desire. However, adults have (hopefully) realized by now that Santa is nothing more than an imaginary character. What many of those adults do not realize is that a wish granter does exist, and He is probably not wearing a bright red suit and climbing down your chimney. Naturally, I am referring to God.
The Bible tells us in Psalm 37:4, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” This should go without saying, but God is more than likely not going to grant your wishes every time one asks Him. In addition, He has a requirement in order to receive the desires of our heart: we must first take refuge in God and submit ourselves to Him.
Jesus himself discussed answering his followers’ prayers during the sermon on the mount. Matthew 7:7 notes, “Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Christ says four verses later, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him.” God the Father is the ultimate gift giver, especially for those who have accepted him as their Savior.
One thing that is of extreme importance that I can not emphasize enough is that God grants the prayers who follow Him. That is not to say he will never grant the prayer or wish of someone who does not follow Him, but as David noted in Psalm 37, it is important to “take delight in the Lord.”
This Christmas season, whatever your station in life may be, remember that that the supreme answerer of prayers is alive and well and is available to answer prayers. Remember this: He knows the needs, wants, and desires of all. Instead of wishing on a shooting star or making list for jolly old St. Nick, pray to God and ask Him for what you need.