It really is! We are celebrating the birth of our Saviour! I love the hustle and bustle of the season, beautiful decorations, twinkling lights, songs of praise, the shopping for gifts of love, the giving to others, the baking, the excitement overflowing in children, extra time to gather with friends and family. Thankfulness. Love is in the air, more than any other time of year!
This year the amount of suffering and grief happening all around has just really weighed on my heart. Maybe it’s because I understand grief.
For many this is a first Christmas without their loved one, for others it may be the 3rd or 4th holiday but it just isn’t any easier. There are families spending Christmas in a hospital wondering how much time they have left with the one they love. Strained relationships with family. Fresh divorces leaving one parent without their children. New cancer diagnosis. The loss of a baby. Loss of a spouse after 25 years of marriage. Those strapped financially feeling helpless that they cannot provide for their children. Parents who have children serving time in prison. Families who have loved ones deployed. People being persecuted because of their faith.
Sorrow, distress, loneliness, emptiness……..
When empty, it is only the Lord that can fill you up. He meets us where we are. He will fulfil every need.
It brings me to this encouragement……
Matthew 5:3-10 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God, Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
Each Christmas I find that the list of blessings in my life is long and plentiful. The reality is that in spite of the many blessings, our family still feels the pain of loss. We are still missing one that makes our family complete. We are wrestling with the reality of an absent family member. But every year since my Dad has been gone, there is continued healing in our family. God is faithful.
The next two days for many will be filled with joy, family, friends, love, food, gifts, excitement and laughter. For others it will not. Take time to pray for those who God lays on your heart. Take a few minutes to make a phone call, send a text, email or pop a card in the mail. When you see plentiful plates of goodies for your celebration, make one extra to drop off at someone’s house. Extend an invite for someone to join your family. Spread your love, give yourself and they will see Jesus.
There is always love in Jesus.
Merry Christmas… x