I love Christmas. I love the lights, the music, the sweet treats, and the extra time spent with loved ones. It’s the time of year when snow is welcome and hot chocolate covers a multitude of sorrows.
When the Christmas spirit hits me, I’m ready to jump in and enjoy the activities of the holiday. First, there are the decorations, then all those gifts to buy (and wrap while watching sappy Christmas movies), then all that baking (of foods that we’ll be shunning the month after, in light of our new year’s resolutions). I love to burn candles that smell like Christmas and listen to Christmas music as I go about my day. It’s a joyful time full of fun, gift-giving, and childlike wonder.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with approaching Christmas like this. I believe God enjoys watching us take joy in the blessings we have and celebrate life. But sometimes we’re not in the mood to celebrate. Some years I just don’t seem to have that “Christmas spirit”.
Maybe Christmas isn’t a joyful time for you this year. Perhaps you’ve lost a loved one, or maybe you’re under such a heavy burden right now that the twinkling lights are just not enough to dispel the dark clouds. I want you to know that I understand, and it’s okay.
If this Christmas is difficult, don’t beat yourself up for not being in “the Christmas mood”. This might be the year that you have to give yourself permission to take a step back from the standard American Christmas. If so, this is also the year that you need, more than ever, to capture the real joy that is Christmas.
Use this time to pull away from the noise and to hear God’s sweet, calming voice. Hear Him calling for you to join Him in a borrowed, lowly stable. Feel the quiet all around you, and let God usher that quiet into your own heart. See the baby, there in a manger, as human as human can be, yet entirely God.
The trouble that is keeping you from feeling the Christmas spirit, that darkness that hovers over you and keeps your joy subdued–that is why this baby has come. This baby has come to bring light into a dark world. Your dark world.
Recently I was reading through the New Testament in the Message translation. Matthew 4:16 grabbed my heart.
People sitting out their lives in the dark
saw a huge light;
Sitting in that dark, dark country of death,
they watched the sun come up.
What a beautiful image! Even if you’re sitting in a dark, dark, country, it’s time to watch the sun come up. No matter what is happening in your world today, there is joy to be found.
“For unto us a son is born; unto us a son is given …and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.” (Excerpt from Isaiah 9:7-6.)
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And so continues our 25 Days of Christmas Giveaways! What that means is when you leave a comment on any of our posts during the month of December, you are entered to win one of numerous sweet prizes we are giving away leading up to Christmas. It’s just our way of saying we treasure you as our reading audience, and we especially cherish your feedback. Please take a moment to share your thoughts with us in the comment section and be automatically entered to win, then watch for winner announcements. Christmas blessings from the Write Where It Hurts team!
Beth Cranford believes every Christian has been equipped and empowered to do specific and effective work in the kingdom of God. It is her heart’s desire to see women live in the freedom that is theirs through Christ by helping them break free from depression and other strongholds. She encourages women to experience God’s power in their lives by understanding their identity and position in Christ and their unique design.
Beth has been married to her best friend for 21 years. Together they raise and educate their two children in middle TN. Beth has a passion for helping Christian parents design and implement an education that honors and nurtures their children’s individual design, equipping them for a life of freedom and power. You can find her at http://www.bethcranford.com
Read more encouraging stories from brave-hearted women here. Be sure to grab your free copy of inspirational quotes and writing prompts while you’re there. (Look over on the right hand side!)