White Christmas Expectations
Thursday - December 23rd
Scripture to Read Today: Psalm 62:1-8
Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress; I will not be shaken.
Charles Dickens's writings popularized the notion of a "white Christmas." His stories usually depicted a snowy Christmas season. He based his emphasis on Christmas being white on his own childhood Christmas experiences, which happened to have included one of the coldest and snowiest decades in England's history.
Irving Berlin's song "White Christmas" also implies that the best kind of Christmas is a snowy one. Berlin wrote the song for the musical movie Holiday Inn, released in 1942. The composition won the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 15th Academy Awards.
Since its release, "White Christmas" has been covered by multiple artists. However, Bing Crosby's version remains the world's best-selling single (in physical media sales), with estimated sales of over 50 million copies worldwide. When the figures for other artists' versions of the song are added to Crosby's, "White Christmas" sales exceed 100 million.
Expectations of a white, snowy Christmas in songs, literature, and movies do little harm - if any. But, unfortunately, when we place numerous expectations on the circumstances of our Christmas celebrations, family, and even the rest of our lives, we often set ourselves up for disappointment. Unmet expectations breed deep frustration. Managing our own expectations of the people and circumstances in our lives (we ultimately cannot control anyway) determines much about our attitude and disposition later.
The Psalmist says much about our expectations in life and on God. Psalm 62 emphasizes how important it is to rest our hope and expectations in God. "My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him" (Psalm 62:5 KJV).
Perhaps you have expectations on family regarding where, when, who, and how your family Christmas gathering should take place. Maybe you have a clear picture in your mind of how friends and co-workers should behave in this season. But unfortunately, it is easy to set ourselves up for frustration with unreasonable or even unnecessary expectations of others and our circumstances.
When we rest our hope in our God and rest in how and when he works in our lives, we begin to free ourselves from unmet expectations. People will fail us. Our God will not. Our life experience is much better when we rest in God rather than our circumstances and other people.
Ask God to help you manage your expectations over the next few days of Christmas celebration! Don't root your well-being in white Christmas expectations. Instead, trust in God's working in your life - even when it is different than you would want. Let Him be your satisfaction!
When our hope rests solely in our God, we free ourselves from the crushing control of unmet expectations.