A 15-Day Christmas Devotional for an Untraditional Year

Chrys Howard

Host of Rocking It Grand

The princess and our God

Several years ago, I took two of my sweet granddaughters to the movies. The movie, The Princess and the Frog, gave me the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time with these two and resulted in an eye-opening comment by one of them.

As in most movies, life for the leading lady began with a challenge. She had spent her life struggling to work her way up in the world, and the opportunity arose to kiss a slimy frog. Of course, her hope was that he would turn into a handsome prince. But, the kiss only brought her more trouble. One look at her hand and she shrieked as she discovered she had joined him in the frog kingdom instead of vice-versa, as she had dreamily planned.

As the prince and the leading lady hopped their way through the perils that plague tiny green creatures, my granddaughter, Aslyn, leaned over and whispered, “I know they will become people again.”

I replied, “How do you know?”

Without hesitation, she responded, “Because every princess story has a happy ending.”

My heart nearly stopped at those incredibly misguided but hopeful words. I could hardly concentrate on the rest of the story as I thought of Princess Diana. I wondered if she’d begun her fairy tale with Prince Charles knowing she would have a happy ending. After all, all princess stories have a happy ending, don’t they?

Sadly, fairy tales and real life rarely match up.

So, where do we go for a happy ending?

As an aging baby boomer, I have lived long enough to have survived hard times. I have buried those that I love and miss every day. I’ve cried through broken marriages and sat by the bedside of those too sick to hold their head up. Death, divorce, and disease are not happy endings. But, there’s good news in our real life story.

I am far from being a princess and only wore a crown once in 1971, when I was crowned basketball queen at my high school. I admit that it was an honor and I felt very special, but that crown never could protect me from the fate my future life would hold. The only crown ever worn that could protect you and me was the crown of thorns Jesus wore. Jesus chose to put on a crown that didn’t bring him any glory, that didn’t glitter, that didn’t shine so that we could shine bright in his likeness.

There will be many days where you will doubt your place in this world. You’ll be in so much pain, you might consider the life of a frog a better choice. But, don’t despair. God’s only Son came to earth to bear your pain and give you hope for a better tomorrow, and, one day—honestly, one day—you will be given a glorious crown of life.

Guided Reflection

  1. Name a struggle that threatened to hold you back from all God had planned for you.
  2. Read Romans 8:31 in The Message below. Underline all the troubles that will not come between you and God, then circle why none of this fazes God.

    “The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We're sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one. None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us” (Romans 8:31 MSG, emphasis added).

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