Christmas hope.

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Yet another Christmas has come and gone for another year. For most of us, Christmas was spent with loved ones, sitting around a meal exchanging presents and just relaxing. It was spent attending church services and reading prayers and giving thanks. For many, it was a sweet day reflecting on the love of God, sent to us in the form of a baby born in a manger. While for many of us it was and is an exciting time of the year where we share love and laughter with those around us, for just as many, it’s a time of year that brings pain and heartache and unprecedented loneliness. Death, grief, loneliness, illness and heartache have no concern with the Christmas season; there is no reprieve or vacation from those feelings as they still come along for the ride, irrelevant of the season. If that’s what Christmas is for you, let me tell you that you are not alone. I see you and I get it.

I love Christmas and celebrating Jesus’ birth, but I’ve also have pain and hardship in my life this year and in some ways, I entered Christmas walking hand in hand with both joy and sadness. And it’s not just me. Most people I’ve spoken with have said it’s been a hard year and Christmas was going to be just as hard. But you know what? That’s okay. If you have walked into Christmas feeling pain or sorrow or heartache, that is okay. Jesus won’t be offended that you are not the life of the party today because after all, it’s not about us, it’s about Him. And that, my friend, is good news. And here’s why.

While it is wonderful to spend Christmas with people we care about, that is not the point of Christmas. The point of Christmas is to celebrate that love came down from heaven to make a way for us to have eternity with our Creator. Christmas is a time to remember that He that came down as baby, born in a manger to a life of sacrifice. It is about the One that came to bring peace, hope, joy, love and salvation. When we remember that it is about Him, we take our eyes off ourselves and fix them on Him and when we fix our eyes on Him, we start to experience His peace, hope, joy, love and salvation more and more. We start to understand that the peace, hope, joy, love and salvation that He brings is ours to rest in.

Luke 1:79 tells us that He came,’ To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

To give light to those who sit in darkness. Grief, loneliness and heartache can feel dark. Pain can make us feel like we are surrounded by darkness. But Luke tells us that He came to give light to those in darkness. While your situation may not change overnight, when we rest in Him, He will shine His light into our darkness. He will show the way out of the darkness; He will guide our feet into the way of peace. He will help carry our burden when the darkness gets too dark. He will make the darkness a little lighter.

This Christmas, if you are feeling joy, I pray that your joy would increase and pour out to those around you. But if you were one of those people that was feeling sadness, know that you are not alone because He sees you and feels the sadness with you.

If you were feeling overwhelmed by loneliness, I pray that you would feel His presence next to you, holding you up.

If you were feeling discouraged because your prayer went unanswered, I pray that you would not lose all hope and that you would place your hope in the One that still answers prayer.

If you were waiting for your Christmas miracle but it never happened, don’t give up. Your miracle may not look like what you expect it to, but He is still working things out and will come through.

I know this is all easy to say but know that I don’t say this lightly because I know the pain of unanswered prayers and loneliness and discouragement from waiting for the miracle. But I also know that His love is amazing, and His peace is priceless, and His presence is better than anything else. And so, this Christmas season, may you encounter His presence and His love and know that He is with you, you just need to accept Him.

Merry Christmas, friends xo

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