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This Christmas

I’m sad this Christmas. There, I said it. I thought, that as the season came upon us, I was more prepared this year for the precious gift of Christmas than any other year. Prepared to enjoy, prepared to see and experience the season differently. Prepared to worship our Lord with all my might. Instead, here I am about a week before Christmas feeling a bit hopeless and sad. From news of devastating illnesses, hurt feelings, marriages in danger of divorce, unexpected changes, young ones fighting for their lives, and even death, I am at a loss of what to do or even how to respond.

There is a famine of love that is breaking my heart. It’s brought me to my knees in deep, raw prayer for people I love dearly. As lives crumble around me I have no plan, no perfect words of wisdom, no way to stop the bleeding or help the hurt. All I have is Jesus and I am reminded that HE IS ENOUGH.

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” 1 John 4:9

As I think about my romantic expectations from the start of this Christmas season, I am convicted of the fact that I was focused so much on my own experience this year or my plan for Christmas this year. As the days and weeks unfolded and all the sad news came knocking on my door, the Christmas in my mind was stripped away. What’s left is the story of a tiny babe, a Savior, born to save us from the mess of this world. What’s left is HOPE.

When I rest in the magnitude of this hope, again it breaks me but in a different way than the pain of the world breaks me. It brings me joy in the midst of sadness, hope in the midst of hurt, and comfort in the pain. His love pulses through my veins for the people in my life. A love that reminds me that God’s not done yet, no matter what the circumstance and the best gift that I can give someone this Christmas is Him. Sharing Jesus; His hope, His love.

A friend of mine sent me a message the other day. She wanted advice on how to respond to an acquaintance that posted this: “…As a non-Christian who celebrates Christmas, I’m struggling with how to explain the deeper meaning behind Christmas to my child without getting too into the biblical Christmas story.”

At first I had a lot of thoughts swarming around in my head on how to respond. Honestly, there is a lot I wanted to say about this post, none of which would convince this person to consider that the whole point to Christmas was Jesus. So, after I had a moment to pray and ask God for guidance this is what flowed… “Maybe this is an opportunity to share why Jesus is the answer. Jesus is love, love that came down from heaven. The type of love we humans have a hard time grasping. Love that is unconditional and unceasing. It’s sacrificial. Christmas is a time to celebrate that gift of perfect love.”

This time of year, hearts are softened and so many people are searching for more. Whether they are searching because of their circumstances or just for advice, the message of His love can be transformative. We can try to fix people or their circumstances or we can offer them hope. We can try to give our advice or we can offer them the true gift this Christmas; the love of Christ. Who is God calling you to be an instrument of His hope and love this Christmas?

Lord, I am so grateful that in the midst the circumstances that surround me, that you are in control. I do not have to fix them, nor do I have all the right answers. I am simply called to share your love and hope with those you send across my path. I pray for hearts ready to receive this precious gift. Thank you for the assignment and for the words to speak to hearts in need this season. Amen.