Christmas is my favorite time of the year.I love the lights on the Christmas trees, the idea of giving gifts to family, and friends, going to church with family and friends, and most of all celebrating Jesus. However, we hear everywhere that it is the most wonderful time of the year. For many it is, but for some it isn’t.
Many of my friends are struggling with a difficult Christmas. Perhaps you’ve been given a difficult diagnosis, you’ve been told the cancer that you’ve been fighting so hard is back, or you’ve lost someone you loved this past year and this is your first Christmas without them.
That doesn’t make for the merriest of Christmas. In fact, it makes the holidays very difficult to celebrate. Perhaps this is your first Christmas being separated or maybe you faced a divorce this year. Maybe you had to move away from family and friends and you’ve found yourself a new home. Wherever you are whatever season you are in, Christmas can still be full of blessings even though things aren’t rosy.
I’ll be honest this year isn’t my idea of a perfect Christmas. As many of you know this is my first Christmas without all my children. It’s a hard one. I’m used to being surrounded by little people and lots of hustle and bustle of Christmas. Instead it’s been a peaceful Christmas. However, even in the midst of my struggle with my health, missing my children, the Lord continues to surround me with His love.
It’s amazing to watch and even more amazing to be a part of. You see my friend even in the midst of your heartache, your not so perfect Christmas…Jesus is with you. He wants you to know how loved you are. He wants you to know that He gave His life for you. So it’s not about the tinsel, the holly, the perfect Christmas tree, or perfect gifts. It’s about Him.
So how can you have a blessed Christmas in the midst of a struggle?
You can have a blessed Christmas in the midst of a struggle by remembering you are loved.In John 3:16 it says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
You can have a blessed Christmas in the midst of going through hard times by remembering who He is and what He has done in your life.
Romans 8:28 says that
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
You can have a blessed Christmas by remembering how loved you are by your family and friends. I had a friend this season give me a simple gift of a cup of coffee. Now that’s not much but when you are having a really hard day. It was a lot.
You see, your circumstance DO NOT define you.It’s what you are going through but not who you are. God sees your heartache, your tears, your pain and yes He even sees your fears. He knows how scared you are to go through chemo again, face that surgery that you don’t want to, have those health tests that you are dreading because you know what they will say. He knows how you are scared that you might lose your job, that you are afraid to begin again after a broken marriage or relationship. But the message that He is saying to you above all this Christmas to TRUST ME!!
God has you.
God wants to bring you peace this Christmas.
I love how the verse in Isaiah talks about Jesus being the prince of peace.In Isaiah 9:6, it says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Because that is so true. Peace for the middle of your storm. Peace in the middle of your struggle. Peace in the middle of your pain. I love John 16:33 because it reminds me of just how big God is. :I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” look at that last part – But take heart; I have OVERCOME the world.
No matter what your Christmas looks like, take some time today to reflect on that and let the light of Jesus shine brightly in you and through you.
I promise you that He will never leave you nor forsake you. He will guide your steps and light your path.
Have a blessed and Merry Christmas!!
Love and Prayers,
Shawnee and family!!