This time of year, between the Christmas parties and school programs, the traditions and time with family and friends, there’s also a lot of real life stuff. And it’s not always tinsel and twinkling lights. The most wonderful time of year can amplify the hurts of some and leave people feeling less than jolly, especially in comparison to others with all the cheer and mistletoe.
To the momma that buried her son this year – God sees you.
To the dad dividing holiday time with his kids after the divorce this year – God sees you.
To the woman in the middle of cancer treatments – God sees you.
To the man that lost his job and can’t pay the mortgage this month – God sees you.
We are all surrounded by people with hurts – some much more visible than others. Or you may be someone with an extraordinary hurt this season, ready for the new year to come and to get back into a routine.
This line from O Holy Night keeps coming to my mind, convicting me and challenging me.
Am I truly thrilled and celebrating the birth of Jesus? Or do I allow the challenges of the day dim the Light of the world in my life? Do I look at my hurts, worries, stress, and allow them to be overcome with a thrill of hope? Am I rejoicing along with the weary world? Am I helping others rejoice amidst their weariness?
1 Peter 3:15 tells us:
In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.
Is it evident to others that I have the hope of Christ in my life? Do I have my testimony ready to share when asked about the hope I have?
I don’t have the answers or solutions to all of the real life situations right now – but I do know that we can put our hope in the Lord. Because of Jesus, we have eternal life. And that truly IS thrilling! Jesus’ arrival thrilled a weary Mary and Joseph, it thrilled the weary shepherds, and it thrills a weary world! This Christmas, let the thrill of Jesus and the hope He brings, allow us to rejoice through the weariness and hurts. Not because those things aren’t real and don’t hurt – they are real and the pain is real… but we can rejoice because God sent us Jesus – and He has overcome the world!