“Have yourself a merry little Christmas. May your heart be light. From now on our troubles will be out of sight…”
I am a Christmas tree goes up the second weekend of November kind of girl; a Michael Buble holiday station on Pandora before Thanksgiving, a giddy to go Black Friday shopping and come home to wrap gifts and watch White Christmas kind of girl. Like so many, Christmas is my favorite time of year–preparing for it is joyful and I still feel the butterflies in my stomach when we go to bed on Christmas Eve. Though, now the excitement is more about the gifts I will be able to give more than those I will receive (though, Mark knocks it out of the park).
We adore being with both sides of our family; we happily anticipate or family gatherings which are always full of laughter, board games, gifts, and stuff-yourself-good food. Always.
Except for this year–this year, through our own family’s journey with Shannon’s leukemia, my eyes were opened to see that for so many Christmas is not an entirely merry time. This year, both of Mark’s sisters and his parents spent Christmas miles away from us in Texas. This year, as I sang along to Christmas tunes on the radio, I would be suddenly struck with a wave of sadness when a song carried my memory into the home of my in-laws full of twinkle lights and the smell of mom’s sticky buns. This year, while packed tightly into a pew at our Christmas Eve service, a helplessness came upon me as tears streamed down the cheeks of my man.
This year, you may not be only miles apart from someone you love, but perhaps that someone is on the other side of eternity. This year, you might be sitting next to someone you love, in a pew, but he doesn’t love you anymore–or at least it doesn’t feel like he does. Perhaps, you are so lost in depression that you cannot enjoy the precious people who surrounded you this year. I don’t know what may have tinted the merriness of your Christmas this year. But, I know we are not the only family feeling both joy and pain.
I also know this–
“For the wounded, for the hurting
For the lost, and for the lonely
You came, Jesus you came…
For the outcast, the defeated
For the weary, for the weakest
You came, Jesus you came…” (Elevation Worship, Let Us Adore, emphasis added)
Sweet friend, Jesus came as a little baby, lived a holy life, and died the kind of death you owed because He knew. He knew every Christmas wouldn’t be merry and bright–He knew some years you’d come into December feeling wounded and lonely and walk into the New Year defeated and weary. He came for you–as you are today–merry or not.
As we look forward to the New Year–the time when we all hope for fresh starts, new goals attained, and right relationships, run to the one who came for you. Know that He came to give you life abundantly
even when especially when your troubles are not out of sight. Know that He has already overcome this world, and He is within you which means, through His power, you can withstand any outside pain or pressure.
I stand with you in prayer as we wrap up Christmas parties and move on to New Year’s football games and sparkling grape juice. For you, He came.