Christmas time can be a hard time of year. I love buying gifts and spending time with people I love, but I often find myself struggling during the Christmas season. I feel like the holidays can be a time when life’s changes actually become more magnified.
The absence of the happy-go-lucky grandpa who passed away 2 years ago, the aging grandparents who aren’t able to travel anymore, children who are grown and have plans elsewhere, the dear friend who is facing her 2nd Christmas without her husband of 48 1/2 years, weary mom-friends who are working so hard to push through every day and be faithful to their calling . All of these things seem to be even more painfully obvious during this season that we tend to put so much effort into trying to establish the familiar.
“If you are suffering this Christmas, you have far more in common with Jesus than the comfortable and contented.”~Vaneeth Rendall Risner (Desiring God Ministries)
This year I am quietly entering the Christmas season. The realities of life will cause me to move through the holiday season soberly. The idealistic picture of Christmas that used to hang in the back of my mind has blown away with the winds of change. Somewhere along the way I became tired of fighting to make it something it can never really be.
When my children were young, I focused on three things during the holidays: Making sure they knew that Christmas is about the birth of Christ, establishing family traditions, and making memories. I often tried to open my little one’s eyes to truths that only God can cause them to see and make real in their heart. Time has taught me that, although they may have some fun Christmas memories, what truly made a lasting impact was the authentic living that was done within the walls of our home and the unseen, one day at a time work that God was doing .
There is a knowing that comes with years of living. One year building on the next. God slowly opening our eyes to truth. Allowing us to experience the joy and pain of change. If Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Christ, then it’s okay that all the hype during the holidays becomes somewhat meaningless. It’s okay to enter quietly and feel the sadness of the realities and the changes that have taken place. The losses, deaths, sickness, and suffering that are present are merely reminders of why we so desperately need a Savior. Of why Jesus was born in the first place.
“The Thrill of hope. The weary world rejoices!”
The birth of Jesus is a celebration of hope — but I am weary! The world is weary!
“Fall on your knees…”
I begin this Christmas season feeling weary because of life’s changes, and I plan on spending a lot of time on my knees fighting the battle in my heart and mind. I have been crying out to Him with a heavy heart fighting to see things from His perspective. Just the other day God flooded my mind with these thoughts:
Christ was born for one purpose: To die for the sins of people who rebelled because they thought God and his plan wasn’t enough. They wanted more.
The Christmas season can be a struggle because the stark realities of life don’t take a holiday break! There are days I have to fight for joy, but it’s there. I just need to focus on the reason He came. And wearily rejoice that He was born.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees…
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