The Grinch’s story explains how much the Grinch hated Christmas, so much so, that he wanted it to disappear. In fact, he wanted to stop it from coming altogether. So as was mentioned in Tuesday’s post, he devised an evil plan and carried it out, stealing all the presents, decorations and even the baked ham.
He thought that stealing the things they possessed, would also steal the emotions they felt – but oh, was he wrong. While he was basking in the aftermath of his sinister thievery, and standing amongst all the presents he had stolen, he heard something low and faint in the distance.
The Grinch heard the sweet sounds of peaceful singing permeating the air, floating up to the mountaintops from all the way down in the quaint valley of Whoville. He thought he had won – but he soon realized that he was wrong about that too.
In the same way, Satan wanted Christmas stopped too. However, just as the Grinch heard the songs of the people, Satan heard the news about Jesus. He tried and tried to steal Christmas away, but all of his attempts fell short. Let’s take a look at attempts the real mean one tried to carry out:
First attempt: In biblical times, adulterers, especially women who were pregnant out of wedlock, were to be stoned. So the first attempt of Satan to prevent the birth of Jesus, was done through rumors in the community of Mary and Joseph.
As we read in the Christmas story, Joseph struggled with worry about whether or not Mary had been unfaithful to him. He wondered if he should allow her to be punished, and if he should abandon her to protect his own reputation. He surely felt taunted emotionally by thoughts of doing what was right in the eyes of the world, versus what was right in his heart.
But God… sent an angel to visit Joseph and tell him of His holy plan.
If Joseph had believed the rumors and been influenced by the opinions of others, instead of focusing on his faith and his love for Mary, he could have fallen prey to Satans attempts to steal Christ-mas, before it ever started (Matthew 1:18-25). Josephs heart was set on obeying and trusting in God, even when things looked bleak.
Second attempt: Satan tried to prevent Jesus from having a safe haven for birth. There was no room in the inn in Bethlehem. No shelter from the cold. No protection from the wild.
But God… provided a stable, which offered warmth, shelter and hay for the manger.
Third attempt: A couple years later, Satan (the grinch) tried to use Herod to steal Christ-mas, by prompting him to kill all boy toddlers who might be a threat to his authority. Herod was not a follower of Jesus, therefore, in essence, he was a follower of the grinch. He was influenced by the lies of the enemy.
But God… told Joseph to leave the city, and provided an escape for them, which allowed Christ to grow into a strong young man who would eventually calm the storm with His hand, and save generations and generations of people.
There were many other failed grinch attempts, where satan tried to alter history by causing Jesus and his followers to stumble. In fact, there are too many attempts to list.
All throughout the life of Jesus, Satan tried to steal Christ-mas. He tempted Him, tormented Him, turned people against Him. He tried every trick in the book to pull off the ultimate heist, but failed time and time again.
But God… never failed.
Even for three days, after Jesus was crucified and buried, Satan thought he had finally won the battle. He probably had an evil smirk on his face, as he twisted his pointed fingers together in delight.
But God… called Jesus from the grave on the third day, restored Him to life, and set Him at His right hand side in the heavens.
No matter how hard he tried, Satan, the grinch, could not steal Christ-mas! God always won, and He still does today. Victory is already His.
Yet, unfortunately, until the final victory is claimed, the grinch will continue to lurk in our lives, attempting to trip us up, striving to steal, kill and destroy, without ever giving up.
He tempts people with pleasure and sin. He turns families against each other. He prods us into holding onto unforgiveness and selfishness. He makes us long for worldly pleasures, even if means sacrificing family or going into debt as he revels in our desires for more. He takes pride in our country’s strides to be “politically correct” and “tolerant”, at the expense of having freedom of speech about our God. He pours busyness and chaos into our lives so that our lives are too full for church and prayer. He fills our heads with doubts and tries to confuse us with science and theology and logic. He fills us with pride so that we begin to believe that we really don’t need God at all.
He has worked diligently for thousands of years to take Christ out of Christmas, and Christ out of our hearts, and in some ways, he has experienced some success. He stole Christ from our governments, schools and communities. He stole Christ from our laws. He is trying to steal Christ from our television screens and publications. He has stolen the sanctity of purity and marriage. He has been hard at work, with glee.
But God… calls us to trust Him and not to worry; and to remember that the battle is already won.
Satan could not stop Christ-mas from coming, so now his mission is to do everything possible to steal Christmas from our hearts, and to prevent people who do not know Jesus from ever believing in Him. We must be on guard, and be aware, at all times, and put on the full armor of God to fight this battle.
Unless we allow it, Satan cannot steal Christ from our hearts, or Christ from our Christmas.
That gift is ours to keep.
The gift of “something more” that can never be taken away.
*** If you have been feeling distant from Christ this Christmas, and unable to really tap into a reason to celebrate, check out my feature article in this month’s P31 Woman magazine. The enemy has hard at work, waging war against my family this past year, BUT GOD has made Himself known. I pray this article will encourage you to remember that although the battle exists, we have the power within us to fight. And in Christ, we can also have a reason to celebrate.