the most wonderful time of the year?

It’s the Christmas season, the “Most Wonderful Time Of The Year”, as the lyrics go. I look forward to sharing time with my family this holiday season. However, at the same time, my heart shouts a silent “yes” each time I come across one of the memes circulating, reminding us that this is not true for everyone.  You see, I carry grief every day. There’s nothing wonderful about that.

holidays can highlight grief

While others are happily wishing each other joy, the holidays have a way of highlighting my grief because of the absence of my loved ones. The death of my mother-in-law this week has made my sorrow and longing feel exceptionally acute. I have to admit I have felt some jealousy. Jealous because she no longer knows the wounds of this world, jealous of her seeing Jesus, face to face, and jealous of the joyous reunion she had with those who had gone before her.

jesus also experienced loss

This season, we share the nativity story. The familiarity and temptation toward rote recitation can numb us of its reality, robbing us of its depth and truth. Though Jesus could have come as anything, He came as a helpless baby and grew up, just like us. He did not have a free pass to escape the trauma and ravages of a sin-filled world. He too, experienced the devastation of illness, bereft loneliness, and shattering loss.

just the beginning of the story

Even more, He personally knows the pain each of us feels. He bore it all on the cross. He still bears the scars in his hands, feet, and side. Christmas is just the beginning of the story. Jesus came to be the sacrificial Lamb of God, whose blood atoned for the sins of the world, including yours and mine. He willingly gave His life on the cross in place of ours. On the third day, He rose again, conquering sin and death once and for all. One day, He will come to take us home to Heaven. This is almost too wonderful to believe. Even one of Jesus’ closest friends, Thomas, doubted. He didn’t believe it until he actually put his hands in the scars. (John 20:24-29)

he knows!

Friend, you may be one of those not experiencing “The Most Wonderful Time”. Reach out to Jesus, Emmanuel…God WITH us. God is WITH YOU. The Father KNOWS. He has felt every single circumstance that breaks your heart, every pain, every illness, every loss. We are not alone. He knows and feels this with you. Christ intercedes to the Father on your behalf and collects all your tears in His bottle as His Holy Spirit’s presence comes to comfort. (Romans 8:26-27; Psalm 56:8; John 14:26)

what is definitely wonderful

If you haven’t yet, receive Jesus’ gift of salvation bought with His blood shed on the cross. Because of His scars, someday, we will see Him face to face and join the joyous reunion of those who have gone before. He will wipe every tear from our eyes. There will be no more crying or death. All will be made new. (Revelation 21:3-4) Now that is definitely wonderful.

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