It was Christmas Eve 1999. The whole family was all in one place. I was nestled under layers of red and green flannel sheets and surrounded by the soft glow of white Christmas lights on the mini-tree in my bedroom. Snowflakes bounced off my window seal as I checked the clock again… gasp… only 11pm. I tossed and turned all night in anticipation for Christmas morning. I finally drifted off into a deep sleep as I dreamed of the North Pole, Santa’s snowy sleigh ride, and what surprises he may be leaving me under the Christmas tree.
At 5 o’clock sharp, an enthusiastic jolt from my little brother and shouts of, “IT’S CHRISTMAS, IT’S CHRISTMAS!” made for a fabulous alarm clock. I leaped out of bed, raced to my parent’s bedroom, and gave them the same delightful wakeup call while my brother joyfully alerted our grandparents in the next room that Christmas morning was finally here! We all gathered in the hallway as my granddaddy built a fire in the living room and my grandmother prepared a pot of coffee. We eagerly waited down the hallway as our parents teased us from the living room with “oohs and aahs!” “Now can we see?!” We exclaimed. “Not yet, but almost!” They continued to prepare the room for our arrival. We giggled and leaped with glee until, finally, we heard the phrase we had been waiting for, “It’s time!”
As we entered into the room, I will never forget the sense of awe and wonder that overwhelmed the 9-year-old me. The warmth, the gifts, and the joy that filled the room were truly beyond what I could fathom. The glowing expressions on my parent’s and grandparent’s faces will forever be ingrained in my heart. In that moment, I was at peace, my heart was overwhelmed with thanksgiving, and there was no place I’d rather be.
Brothers and sisters, the day is drawing near when we will stand before the Savior of our souls and gaze upon His radiant beauty as our hearts are filled with complete awe and wonder. We will exchange the trials and tribulations of our past for infinite joy. There will be no more tears or pain, only thanksgiving and praise. As our Father prepares a place for us, may we prayerfully and expectantly wait for the moment He says, “It’s time!”
In His presence – there’s no place I’d rather be.
- Have you experienced the joy, hope, and peace that is found in Jesus?
- Do you get excited when you think about Christ’s return? Why or why not?
- What are some ways you can enter into God’s presence every day?
Camea McDaniel is the Communications Project Manager at First Dallas. Her passion is for outreach and “transforming the world with God’s Word one life at a time.” She and her husband, Justin, serve as a CARES Team in their downtown Dallas apartment community. She is an avid coffee drinker and in her free time enjoys riding bikes, baking, dog sitting, and exploring.