Born on Christmas day in 1766, Christmas Evans grew up illiterate. When he was very young, his father died, so he went to live with a drunken, ungodly uncle. After spending six unhappy years as his uncle’s farm hand, he left the presence of this abusive man.
After attending a revival, Christmas accepted the Lord and knew almost immediately that he needed to separate himself from his lost companions. A short time after his conversion, six of his former wicked friends attacked him. Beating him unmercifully, they blinded him in one eye with a stick. Because of this, he later became known as “the one-eyed preacher of Wales.”
He taught himself Hebrew and Greek and learned to read and write English and Welsh. He became one of the greatest preachers in Wales, starting the Welsh revival and building a strong Baptist community.
A story about him goes like this: One day as he traveled by horse to an appointment, he was convicted of having a cold heart. He tied up his horse and walked back and forth in a field in agony for three hours.
As he reviewed his life, he felt broken with sorrow and experienced God’s forgiveness. After receiving a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit, he got back on his horse and went to his appointment.
The next day, as he preached to a vast crowd gathered on a hillside, he spoke with such power that revival broke out that day and spread throughout all of Wales.
How many moments of self-reflection and examination have we missed on our way through life? Not stopping to ponder the condition of our lives, do we miss the nudge of the Holy Spirit?
Are we so busy that God has probably considered a Damascus Road experience for us like He did for Paul? Or do we stop on our own before that happens?
Will we miss some great nudging of the Spirit this Christmas season because we are too busy?