Last week I had the privilege of serving an office Christmas party for Robin’s pediatric neurologist who we haven’t seen in ten years. When Robin was four years old, she started displaying several different types of seizures. She was ultimately diagnosed with a rare syndrome called Doose – doctors don’t know where it comes from, but they know it’s generally quite severe with children suffering an average of seventy seizures a day with little that can be done medically.
It was a scary road we had to walk with Robin, trusting the Lord to hold her through it all. She had up to twelve seizures a day, before she stopped seizing with the correct medication. As quickly as the seizures came, they stopped. It was a several year process for our family, but she has been off all medication for four years now and doing very well.
When I mentioned this to her neurologist at the party, she smiled and said, “That’s amazing. Most Doose kids don’t fair well—they struggle with seizures and mental delays throughout their lives, so count your blessings.” Choking back tears, I ran to the kitchen to keep my composure. How many times have I seen an adult wearing a helmet and being assisted by others? I to think to myself, “but for the grace of God go I.”
As we enter this week of Christmas, I find myself on my knees again, washing Jesus’ feet with my tears. He chose to come, leaving all the riches of heaven, to meet us in our need and rip the veil between God and man. He came to die—for me, for Robin, for you. He came to be our Immanuel — God with us, not just on Christmas, but everyday, all day, dwelling in our hearts through faith.
Wrapping a baby in strips of cotton cloth was an oriental custom. But there’s more to the swaddling strips of cloth than tradition reveals. The lambs that were to be sacrificed were often kept in stone caves or in homes. They were wrapped in strips of cloth to protect them when brushing up against stone or anything else that might have bruised or blemished the lamb. It is very likely that the strips of cloth were removed from one of the lambs and wrapped around the baby Jesus—the true sacrificial Lamb of God!*
Jesus’ death and resurrection made a way for us to enter the very throne room of God! He bids all to come – Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16
Cast ALL your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
This Christmas, let’s not keep Jesus in the manager, a helpless babe, but let’s fall on our knees in praise of the One who chose to come as our sacrificial lamb, choosing to be swaddled in strips of cloth on our behalf. Our Immanuel: sacrificial lamb and Savior.
*Dr. Mark Hamby 7 Misconceptions of Christmas