It’s a cold and frosty morning here on the Western Slope of Colorado and right outside of my dining room window, I can see the twinkling lights we set up last night on our bushes. I know- it’s a little late, but there are just some things that I wanted to be sure we still accomplished this season. Setting up Christmas lights outside of the house always brings a smile to my face. It brings light and joy to my neighborhood that is usually pretty dark at night. I love to see strands of lights all over the houses. At Christmastime, seeing those small glimmers of light in the neighborhood helps us to keep going down the street to discover more, and it also helps us keep going on our journey as we keep trusting that there is more light ahead.
The holidays can often feel dark and dreary for some. And when I say some, I include myself in that lot. Maybe the loss is still a little too fresh to your heart. Maybe the last interaction you had with an estranged loved one didn’t go the way you planned. You might even feel disconnected from the season because it holds more difficult memories and burdens from years past. Whether it’s an absence due to the loss of a loved one or the empty seat because a loved one hasn’t come home for many years – it can make us question what is so wonderful about Christmas. On this cold morning, I wanted to bring some hope to our hearts. This season is still wonderful – Not because of what we currently feel, what’s under the tree, or even what we have checked off from a holiday list. No, Christmas is wonderful because of Who is with us through it all.
If this holiday season feels dark because of the shadow of grief or maybe even because of what life has thrown your way, I encourage you to look for the little bits of light around you today. Let’s look for the trail of hope that God Himself has set out before us in big and small ways – the hope for the hurting heart is real and available for us today. Like the string of lights beneath my windowpane, God has placed light and hope right in front of us at the exact right moments to lift our spirit. We don’t have to walk through grief alone this holiday season. We can reach out to friends for encouragement and prayer but even more importantly, we can call out to The Lord. I’m so thankful to God for the invitation He gives us to bring our burdens to Him.
This Christmas, we get to celebrate the birth of Jesus because He came down and lived, shared in our sufferings and understands our sorrows, and He experienced death so that we could have salvation from sin and have a new life in Him. God’s greatest gift to us was and still is Jesus – Emmanuel, God With Us.
He is with us right in the middle of the ache and in the middle of the tears that still fall.
He is with us in the middle of the celebrations that come with both joy and sadness because of who is around us and who is no longer here.
He is with us when the season doesn’t feel all that wonderful and even when it does.
He is the One that is Wonderful this Christmas season.
He is the One Who walks with us in the middle of the beautiful and the broken.
He is the One who sees the condition of our heart and comes to apply compassionate love and restores our joy.
He is with us friend.
He is the Light in our darkness the hope of the world.
He is still Wonderful this Christmas.
He is all that we were promised He would be:
“For a child will be born for us,
a son will be given to us,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
He will be named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
The dominion will be vast,
and its prosperity will never end.
He will reign on the throne of David
and over his kingdom,
to establish and sustain it
with justice and righteousness from now on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord of Armies will accomplish this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7 CSB)
So when the season doesn’t feel so wonderful, let’s remember that He is still wonderful. Not only is He wonderful, He’s able to make our spirits bright with His love and light.
Let’s Pray: Heavenly Father, we come before you today in the name of Your Son Jesus, and we bring you all of our hearts. All of the ache and all of the heaviness we place in your loving and compassionate hands. We want to cast our cares upon You because we know that You care for us. Lord, we ask You to shine Your Light on our hearts when the darkness and heaviness sets in. Thank You for the promise that You are a shelter for the weak and a strong tower that we can run to when we need security and peace of mind. God, remind us today that You are still wonderful and powerful and able to bring peace to our souls in the midst of the season. You are so kind to walk with us through all that we experience in this life, and Lord, we thank You for your presence right here with us. Thank You Lord. Amen.
Go The Extra Mile: Friends, I had to share this song with you today. It has been a comfort to me this season, so please take time today to listen to this song from one of my favorite bands, CAIN, and I pray your heart would be reminded of how wonderful God is.