Friday, December 25, 2015


Wrapping paper thrown away, floors swept and vacuumed, food put up, dishes washed, family back at their own homes, and now the house is quiet with just me, my parents, and George Bailey. As my heart settles and my thoughts consider the day, I have a myriad of emotions. Christmas Day is over. But December 25th is merely one day that reminds us of what we should consider, and consider often. 

One day Christ will return and dwell with us. He will end our sadness, defeat all evil, and fulfill our deepest longings. Just as the Israelites wait, we wait as a Church- with anticipation and hope. As I looked at this globe on my parents tree today, I was reminded of what scripture says that will be like. In Revelation 7, John is given a beautiful vision.  

"Behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, 'Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!'"

What an incredible day that will be! As I look back on this year, I'm grateful for and humbled by the friendships I've made around the world. I've seen tiny little glimpses of what the marriage supper with the Lamb will be like (Revelation 19), as we all, with one voice, shout His praises. My family extends beyond the Nicewander and Nelson name, and I'm forever grateful. 

Life is so much more than what we see in front of our face. It's bigger than our small little worlds. God is working and moving globally, for His glory and for the salvation of men and women from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation. There is no greater story to be a part of than the story of God reclaiming the lost for Himself. 

As you conclude your Christmas, remember the nations. Remember your brothers and sisters who are experiencing persecution and loss. Remember the refugees who are here, feeling lonely and isolated. Remember the unreached people groups who fill up Asia, Africa, and other parts of the world. Remember the call placed on us, the church, to proclaim liberty to the captives, good news to the poor, comfort for those who mourn (Isaiah 61). 

Merry Christmas family, near and far!