Christmastime Hope

Christmas.

It is one of my favorite times. It is one of my hardest times.

It is a time of sweet and precious memories. It is a time where I find myself now having to purposefully create many new memories.

I eagerly look forward to spending time with extended family and friends. But I deeply miss the presence of my mom (in Heaven) and my dad (in Uganda). The new normal of Christmas isn’t always easy for me.

I often find myself so full of joy in the Christmas season. Yet some days of this holiday season I struggle to breathe when my heart aches with grief and weariness.

Just this week I was reflecting on the words to the familiar Christmas song, O Holy Night. The phrase “A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices” seems to be on repeat in my ear.

My world is a weary one. My own heart grows weary with the struggling. And I know you, my friend and reader, struggle with weariness as well.

But in this advent season, I have found my weary heart rejoicing in the Savior’s birth. We have the thrill of Christmastime hope.

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus willingly robed Himself in humanity and entered into our struggle and weariness.

Jesus desired to be “with us”. He is our Immanuel. He gave us the gift of His presence.

He feels for us. He loves us. He understands us. He is our hope.

In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:4-5)

Christmas is when the true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. (John 1:9)

Christmas is when his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth, was first displayed to us in the form of human flesh. (John 1:14)

Because of Christmas, from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. (John 1:16)

To my friend who is struggling with the loss of a dad this year, remember Immanuel.

To my friend who is facing a Christmas without your spouse, take heart that He is with you.

To my friend who longs to be with your family, you are never alone.

To my friend who recovers from an unexpected operation, rest in His grace.

To my friend who feels the pressures and stress of ministry, run to Him for true rest.

To my friend who wonders if your adopted kids will ever adjust, know that He is walking with you through every daily struggle.

To my friend with a special needs child, remember that His light always shines on those dark days of weariness.

To my friend whose husband walked away from you and your girl, His grace never stops flowing.

To my friend who longs for your prodigal child to return, He understands your pain and cares for you.

To my friend who faces another Christmas without the child you so deeply long for, He is the God of miracles.

To my friend who dreads the family drama at Christmas, remember that you have a heavenly Father who loves you and will never abandon you.

To my friend who is struggling to breathe in the dark of depression, know that His light is always shining.

To my friend who is overwhelmed with a newborn added to the mix of other young children, fall on your knees before the God who holds all things together.

To my own heart that still grieves and longs for her mom, keep walking in His grace and truth.

While the struggle is real in this present world, and our hearts grow weary, may we turn our hearts to rejoice in the Christmastime hope found in the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. May we fall on our knees to worship Jesus who entered our darkness to give us His light. May we be forever grateful that “Love is Here.”

There is a new song filling up the dark,

There is a new hope filling every heart,

There is a new song rising over the world,

O-o-o-o-o-oh love is here,

There is a new joy running through the streets,

All of earth and heaven join to sing,

O-o-o-o-o-oh love is here!

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