At least three of my friends have mentioned/posted about feeling joyless, sad, or grieving at Christmastime today. I just wanted to share the following thoughts.
If your Christmas is a hurtful time, I would like to say, you are NOT expected to be happy — at least around me! Go on with your bad Bah Humbug. Seriously. What if you lost someone important at this time of year? What if you are estranged from people you love? What if your dreams have been dashed to the ground and run over in the mud? What if your spirit feels broken? What if you don’t have a penny to give anyone else, or the energy to brighten up your home? Or worst of all — what if you feel God has abandoned you or cannot salvage your heart?
The truth is, that is what Christmas is all about. No, I am not kidding. Read on.
The truth is, the very first Christmas was all about humble circumstances: primarily of the world itself, but also that of a new-born king meant to be glorified.
Think of the song “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” It speaks hauntingly of the captive people Israel, in need of redemption, in need of hope. “Rejoice, rejoice, O Israel” — because they were hurting! They needed to be rescued. They had been robbed of all peace and joy.
Here came their king; his own world capsized… born into a dingy stable instead of a palace. How backwards! That was an odd representation of any real hope…. yet, what a clarified picture of God, mingling with those of us in lowly circumstances.
If you feel alone, if you feel scared, if you feel naked and abused, or if you feel stricken and needy…. you are in good company. Christ himself, a naked and needy babe, shares your sorrow. Yet, “this little Babe so few days old, has come to rifle Satan’s fold.”
Satan is the celebrator of our pain and the enemy of your very life breath. God himself weeps with you and works to comfort you in your suffering, to be with you. He is the truest friend we have in the midst of weeping.
God himself cherishes you.
God himself is your very help in time of need. He understands it well. Do not let false cheer, hurried well-wishes, or stale hope become the acceptable standard for Christmas. If you need Christ, he has come, and that is our source of joy, meant to be heralded most especially by hurting hearts.
If you are hurting, I send you these words with a hug and a sisterly kiss. God bless you with comfort for your pain this Christmas.
Thanks for reading, Friends.