Hey you…I see you trying to get yourself in the “holiday spirit”, but you just can’t. The thought of watching Christmas movies and baking cookies while drinking hot chocolate sounds so good, but you just aren’t motivated. You still have gifts to wrap and even more gifts to buy. The Christmas cards aren’t even ordered yet, but hey, maybe you can send out new year’s cards instead. You are hurting…maybe you’ve lost someone close to you and this time of year brings back countless memories. Or maybe you or a loved one are sitting in a hospital bed right now just wanting a somewhat normal Christmas without any physical pain. Or maybe you’ve just received some terrible news and feel so lost looking ahead to the new year. Maybe you are a tired mom or dad carrying the weight of a never ending to do list. Or maybe you’re a parent carrying your miserably sick child around because they’ve caught one of the 20 some viruses that are circulating and all they want is to be held. Or maybe you are feeling down because you’ve been looking at everyone’s highlight reel on Facebook…you’re thinking ‘why can’t I be feeling, thinking, or doing all the things that they are feeling, thinking, and doing?’.
I can tell you I am there with you. I’m decorating and wrapping but still feeling some heart aches of my own. I have to keep reminding myself that everyone faces battles and really messy times; however, you won’t see any of that on Facebook. I’m just not in the “holiday spirit”. But what does that even mean anyway?…that I haven’t been wearing my Christmas sweaters, jingle bell earrings, or red and green stockings? No, it goes deeper than that. You see, God is showing me how much less it is about me and my desires and how much more it is about Him and His desires. And trust me, His desires are much more coveted than my own. God loves me at my weakest, relieves me from the guilt that myself and Satan tirelessly put me through, forgives me for the sins I commit daily, and saves me so graciously from a life without Him to a life with Him in eternity. Jesus is a pursuer of me and He is a pursuer of you. That is why He came to earth, why He lived, and why He died.
My Christmas this year isn’t going to be the same as Christmas’ in the past. It will fall short compared to what this world would describe as “perfect”, but I’m doing my best to shift my focus to Jesus. To be thankful that He came; to rejoice with friends and family; and to remember that He is my hope, especially when I hurt.
“Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered will soon deliver you.”
“But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father, David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.'”
– Luke 1:30-33, NIV