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My kids have recently turned in their Christmas lists.  They tell me they still believe, and I am not arguing at this point.  Soon enough, all childhood fantasies will melt away into the reality of adulthood.

I wish I could read bedtime stories to them forever, but that will end.  I wish I could keep them innocent, but puberty and “life education” tears that away too.  Hormones are going to hit, and soon my wife and I might not even recognize them for a period of time.

I can’t have them as children forever.  I can’t magically travel back and enjoy this again later.  For this reason, I have my own grown-up Christmas wish.  While the sentiments in this song are nice and popular, I have one thing I wish for my kids.  In fact, I have one wish for everyone I know.

Every night I read from the Bible.  At first, it was Bible thoughts.  Then we read Bible stories.  Now we are reading the Bible.  My son listens from his room now, but my daughter still wants me to read every night .  What?  You thought I would say no? HA.  One of her favorite books is Daniel.  As I read the fiery furnace story last night, it hit me that the response of these 3 young men is the response I would wish for all of us to have.

As you might recall, the King had established an idol (of himself) and demanded that everyone bow down and worship what he had constructed.  In order to be politically correct and accepted, everyone did except for these three.  In a city of thousands, three stood up.  In a city filled with exiled Israelites who claimed to worship Jehovah God only, only three stood up. Needless to say, the king was angry and flew into a rage.  He brought these three to him and gave them a chance to recant.  He offered them an opportunity to “do the sensible thing” and just bow down.  Here is the reply:

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you.  If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty.  But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”

I have so enjoyed the childhood of my children.  I have enjoyed the dreams and beliefs.  I have enjoyed hugs at the door, snuggles in the chair, the giggles and laughter.  I know that will pass at some point, and I will be sad.  Yet, if my wife and I can instill this one thing, if we can see them embrace what these three had, it would make a world of difference.  Here is my one wish:

I wish that all the followers of Jesus would respond with confidence in God, the courage to speak out, and the conviction to die if necessary.

That’s my grown-up Christmas wish.  What’s yours?