There is a woman that I come into contact with regularly. Each time we meet I ask her how she is, and without fail she responds with complaints about her situation. To be honest, her complaints are legitimate. She is experiencing tough things. I feel for her pain, for her loss, for her struggle. I say what I can to encourage and sympathize with her and make her smile, but there is something more that I never seem to have the words to say in person.
I see her wallowing in her pain. The only thing she seems looks forward to is ‘getting through’. Getting through the drive to be with family at Christmas, but not looking forward to the company. Getting through this task or that… getting through her husband’s deployment.
I wonder if she would hear me if I told her what my heart is screaming? I want her to be able to experience the joy of what she does have and give thanks– not despite her loss but because of it. Instead of wallowing in our pain and letting it sweep over and consume us what if we would learn to grieve? What if we accepted that this broken life comes with tribulation, and in our anguish choose to cry out to the Lord and rest in His comfort? This friend professes to be a Christian and so I would challenge her (and myself) to do this with every distress and see a prayer of aching turned into one of longing for the day of restoration and rejoicing for the birth of a redeemer who will cause the end of every grief.
After all, isn’t that what Christmas is all about? Celebrating the birth of our Lord in whom we have hope and life? Now He offers new life, forgiveness, opportunity for joy, love, and thanksgiving– but in the day to come through our unity with Christ all of these will be perfected!
–Good Christian Men, Rejoice Good Christian men, rejoice, with heart and soul and voice: Give ye heed to what we say: Jesus Christ is born today; Earth and heav’n before him bow, and he is in the manger now. Christ is born today! Christ is born today! Good Christian men, rejoice, with heart and soul and voice; Now ye hear of endless bliss: Jesus Christ was born for this! He hath opened heaven’s door, and man is blessed evermore. Christ was born for this! Christ was born for this! Good Christian men, rejoice, with heart and soul and voice; Now ye need not fear the grave: Jesus Christ was born to save! Calls you one and calls you all to gain his everlasting hall. Christ was born to save! Christ was born to save!