Holidays and Heartache

Twinkling lights, joyous Christmas carols, carefully wrapped gifts, delicious treats, and fun family gatherings are a few of the things we look forward to this time of year. They are some of the things that symbolize Christmas to us - memories we treasure and experiences we look forward to all year long. But sometimes these very things can seem like a burden. They can seem flat and hollow and more work than joy. Maybe we are alone for Christmas - again. Maybe you are alone for the first time. Maybe you are in fact surrounded by people on all sides and yet feel alone. Maybe you are one of the lucky ones who has everything and feels guilty for having so much when so many have so little. Financial stress, health burdens, lost loved-ones, shattered dreams, disappointment, guilt, and more can make it hard to find a reason to celebrate.

But there is a reason.
 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”

Luke 2:29-32


A couple of years ago I was teaching a group of wiggly two-year-olds the creation story. I read these words:

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light." Genesis 1:1-2a

My heart was filled with joy. I've read those words so many times before, but this time it stood out to me. Light where there was none before. What could be more beautiful? Hopeful?

When I bring light into darkness, I'm only able to switch on the source that's already there or bring in a light from elsewhere, but our God creates light. He creates it out of nothing. We have to already have resources to make or obtain something else. He doesn't. He can literally create something where nothing stood before.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life,and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."

John 1:1-5

"The darkness has not overcome it."

If the joy, peace, and faith of Christmas seems far away from you this year please know you are not alone. You have more company than you suspect. But there is still hope. The darkness has not overcome the light...and never will. Praise him with all that you have, even if it isn't much. Give him the time, talent, and resources you have, even if it isn't much. Send the Christmas cards, and string the lights, and wrap the gifts and bake and cook and celebrate. And know that when it's done with his glory in mind it's enough. Know that God is more than able to make something great out of even the smallest things. He's used to working with much less.
"Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth. "


Popular Posts