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Our Mother’s Christmas China
By Joel Osteen - Dec 23, 2022
I hope you're having a great Christmas season. Every Christmas when our family gets together, we have so much fun and have so many holiday memories to share. But for our family, the most memorable Christmas was back in 1981, forty-one years ago. We thought we'd be celebrating together, enjoying fun and fellowship. Instead we learned that our mother had been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer and told by the doctors that there was nothing more they could do for her. She'd been given a few weeks to live. I'd never seen my mother sick a day in her life. When I came home from college, she was very frail, her skin was yellow, and she only weighed eighty-nine pounds. It was a very somber Christmas for all of us.

My mother could have been depressed and given up on life, but she knew God is our healer. On December 11, she and my father went to their bedroom, lay down on the floor, and prayed together that God would heal her. God says in Psalm 50, "Call upon Me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver you." Together, they believed that on that day she received her healing. Though there was no sign of immediate improvement, she would go through the house quoting Scripture: "I will live and not die, and declare the works of the Lord. God is restoring health to me." She would be praying, "Father, You said I would prosper and be in health." We saw our mother and father believe that all things are possible, and little by little she started getting better. Forty-one years later, she's perfectly healthy and whole. No cancer in her body. God has the final say.

Despite that being a difficult Christmas, our parents created an atmosphere of faith and expectancy in our home..and in us. From the beginning, our dad said, "We're going to get a miracle." So my brother and sisters and I bought my mother a twelve-piece set of china dinnerware that she'd wanted to use at family gatherings. It was a symbol of our belief that she would be with us for a long, long time, and she still has it today.

That Christmas brought us even closer together as a family, and we learned some important lessons on always staying in faith that we've passed down to our children. And that's what this Christmas season can be for you. Beyond the traditions, the lights and music, the celebrations, we can pass down love, pass down generosity, hope, and kindness. We can be examples to our family of what it means to walk by faith. We can change old ways and old mind-sets and set new standards. We can let the light of Jesus shine brightly through us and make a difference.

From our family to your family, we wish you a Merry Christmas that fills your future with the greatest of memories.
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