I know my posts lately haven’t been the most joyful, especially as most seek to ‘enjoy the Christmas season’. But with the comments and feedback that I’ve received from those around me, I am more aware of trial and grief this year than ever before. I’m usually one to find the silver lining in all the clouds and I still do, as much as I can, but there is also a time to know your feelings. Feel the grief, sadness, difficulty and let it be there. I do want to push it away and find something positive to dwell on, but there is also a time to sit still. Just be, and feel. God meets us in those moments. When we try to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps we might feel better for a bit, but it isn’t a lasting peace or joy or contentment in what is occurring in our lives.
Being ‘down’ or sad or feeling alone is not a fun place to be, but Jesus sits right beside us. He just waits for us to recognize the fact that He is there. So many feelings are so raw for this family right now and I know that to be true of other families in our circles as well. I encourage you to just find those feelings, label them and then take them to Jesus. Pushing it aside and pushing it down does us more harm and doesn’t allow space for our weakness and God’s strength.
This Christmas season I haven’t participated in the joy and excitement as I usually do. To be honest I haven’t wanted to really celebrate at all. Going to Christmas parties and responding,’I’m fine how are you.” Is not what I want to do, but at these parties, people are there to celebrate Christmas together, not hear about the sadness and trial in other’s lives.
I have to be real right now. I really can’t hide my emotions, no matter how hard I try. And anyone who knows me will probably say they have never seen me cry (before this year)… I never did. And now, all anyone has to do is ask a meaningful question or say something kind and the tears will flow. Putting up a facade of happiness is not possible or even desirable.
I may not be joining in the merriment and cheer, but I now see the peace of God in a new way. Being in a stable, in the quiet at the back of the inn with the noise of the busy town in the back ground and welcoming a Savior is appealing. His arrival was the start of making things right between us and God.
That peace, no one can explain and no one can take away. That peace is what I need. I haven’t joined in the bustle of the season or the business about us, but we’ve been at home more and enjoyed time as a family and had quiet evenings (as much as you can with 4 young, loud children). We have read more stories, sipped more hot tea and crafted more gifts with the kids help than in years past.
Jesus came to earth to bring the peace we need between us and God. That peace, when marinating in it, supersedes all that is going on around us and offers a fresh perspective and contentment in Him.
When you have trial, grief, angst, frustration, sorrow, anger, discord, burdens… bring them to Him and know His peace. That is my prayer for you this Christmas.
Merry Peaceful Christmas!