What's your favorite Christmas song? I have many making it hard to pick just one, but if we separate it into categories of spirituality, comfort and fun, then since today is not Christmas Day I will choose fun today and select: I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas!
My reason why is to make a point that often at this time of year and sometimes at any time of year we have Unreal Expectations about life, about people and about God. I remember my youngest daughter continually asking me for a Barbie Car one Christmas which I couldn't afford at the time but instead we got her a My Size Barbie doll which took a major effort on my part, but made her extremely happy none the less.
For some of us the problem has always been seeking more to an extreme. More money, more toys, more cars. more fame, more of something to make us high and even higher. Somehow more became less and as that song goes, Mom said "the Hippo would eat her up" and it most certainly did us in. Like it did to the Israelites.
In Exodus 16 they were all grumbling about their situation even after God delivered them from slavery (insert addiction here). Wasn't enough food and even in slavery they had a feast every night. So God listened as he always does (even when we have childish requests) and provided Manna and Quail in abundance. But God had one stipulation, don't hoard it, don't keep it longer than needed to because he would supply fresh food every day.
But some didn't listen (insert us here). Kept overnight the food had maggots and began to smell. Our Unreal Expectations which is usually a result of wanting more to an extreme can cause our lives to develop a stench that even we cannot stand, let alone others around us. The brokenness breaks us.
We forget that God will supply all we need if we trust him and don't let our expectations of him or anyone else turn into resentments which turns into the Hippopotamus eating us up. My daughter and I still laugh about that Barbie Car request, and later on in her life I got her a mini-van instead which she is still driving.
Merry Christmas and please be happy with what the Lord has blessed us with!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.