Some of the key players in the Christmas story are the enemies. We tend to forget those drooling villains of the faith. We drown them out with joyful song and warm, toasty family moments around the Christmas tree. But Jesus’ birth was not just about bringing joy; it was about warfare; it was about the destruction of our enemies.
My enemies this year planned a tactical ambush. Somehow, though, in the quiet place of Scripture I saw their scheme for the first time. The enemy is clearly Satan, and his minions wreak havoc in the world of everyday life. I say they are real with my mouth but live as if they were fairy tale creatures like Lord Farquaad, Captain Hook, or the wicked witch of the West. I don’t always take them seriously. This year Psalm 25 allowed me to see through their cloaking device. As they materialized before me they became personal.
“To You O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in You I trust, Do not let me be ashamed; Do not let my enemies exult over me”
As I started to skip over the enemy part, I thought to myself “Yes…enemies are real. But I need the part about victory right now.” Then I saw them, my personal enemies: self-doubt, self-blame, depression, self-harm, over-eating. These are all default thoughts and actions I turn to when life crumbles around me. So those enemies David spoke of in the Psalms are not just all the physical armies of the –alakites. Enemies can be read as the foes I personally face.
So a prayer to “not let my enemies exult over me” is really one that the Holy Spirit interprets to the Father as “don’t let the list above have victory over your daughter this time.” Suddenly, Christmas has come, as it does every year, but with a meaning not explored in years past. Every year I wait for that moment when God offers me a gift by allowing me to see something new and meaningful about the birth of His Son. This year, my gift was unwrapped for me instead of wrapped. And now that I see the enemies clearly, I know that:
Joy to the world……….comes at a great cost,
A silent night……….is often filled with tears and battles of the heart, and
O come all ye faithful……….requires trust and complete release.
“For unto us is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior [from all those enemies of our heart] Who is Christ the Lord.”