When I finish singing Christmas carols to them, they like to go to the piano themselves and show me how it’s really done.  Miss E, of course, is a lavender blur, feisty and fast-moving as ever.

This afternoon I stuffed Christmas cards into envelopes; here’s hoping they go out tomorrow!  And I have been reflecting on how much this irks me.  Every year, I vow that next Christmas I will be perfectly organized.  I will buy all my Christmas gifts before December and mail my cards on the 1st of the month.  But that is not real Christmas in my life.  As I addressed envelopes today, I wondered: why do I want so much to have it all together, at the one time of year that is precisely for people who need help?

Mary said, “‘He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.'” (Luke 1:54-55).

Martyn Lloyd-Jones notes:

“…that word means to succour, to help, or, perhaps better still, to lift up.  The people of Israel had been cast down; they needed to be lifted up, they needed to be saved.  They had been thrown down by an enemy, but someone comes and rescues them; he takes hold of them and helps them to stand upon their feet.”

This I need: someone to stand me on my feet.  And I need to hear this word, and try to believe it:

“What God did when he sent his Son into the world is an absolute guarantee that he will do everything he has ever promised to do.  Look at it in personal sense: ‘All things work together for good to them that love God’–that is a promise–‘to them who are the called according to his purpose’ (Romans 8:28, KJV). ‘But how can I know that is true for me?’ asks someone.  The answer is the incarnation.  God has given the final proof that all his promises are sure, that he is faithful to everything he has ever said.  So that promise is sure for you.  Whatever your state or condition may be, whatever may happen to you, he has said, ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee’ (Heb. 13:5, KJV)–and he will not.  He has said so, and we have absolute proof that he fulfills his promises.  He does not always do it immediately in the way that we think.  No, no!  But he does it!  And he will never fail to do it.”

Wide-eyed, watching the snow.