Is Christmas over yet?

christmasMaybe this is your first Christmas without a loved one. Or the seventh. And you are thankful for all that you have. Family, children, friends. But you can’t stop thinking about the one(s) not here. Because they should be.

Maybe you are looking over the last year…or years…and you just don’t understand how you ended up here. Still…again. The way life didn’t turn out. The work you put in didn’t pay off. The job you dreamed about didn’t come through. The child who struggles still struggles.

Or the test results you are waiting on…or maybe you have already heard, and you are waiting until Christmas is over to break the news. The marriage that hasn’t come…or came and now is over.

And this time of year…with all its joy and presents and parties and light…illuminates the dark we may be feeling and we long for January 2 so that we can get back to normal.

Friend, there is Hope. Yeah…it’s trite, its cliche, but it’s also true. I’m not talking religion. I’m talking Emmanuel…God with us. Or my favorite name Jesus calls Himself in Revelation 22:16, Bright Morning Star. He is what Christmas is all about. He will renew our strength, and His plan is to give us hope and strength.

I wish I could assure you that having hope in Him always brings us physical healing and always means that things will turn out as we want. I can’t because it doesn’t always. But this I know to be true: He loves you and me…all in…unconditionally…yesterday, today, and tomorrow into eternity. And when we call out to Him in desperation, in grief, in fear, in hope…He answers.

Merry Christmas, beloved.

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