Where are you, Christmas?

December.

Twinkling lights and carols and manger scenes. Crackling fires and candlelight and sugar cookies. Packages and whispered secrets. Advent readings and hope held softly.

Where are you, Christmas?

The memories of last year haunt me, and I am holding back from stirring all that up in my heart. Sometimes it is just easier to stay in the shallow places.

But there is a stubborn joy that summons me. Calls me out of my sadness, hums when I am least inclined to listen. It rises gently, like the sun rising after a long and stormy night.

It stills my soul and softens grief.

Because I remember Christmas.

I remember delighted children and stories read by Christmas tree light. I remember kitchen messes and sticky fingers and the lingering smell of cinnamon.

I remember the warmth of love, how it would catch in the back of my throat, tears filling my eyes at the most mundane of moments.

I remember chaos and laughter and joy.

That is what I remember.

But I know without question there were other emotions present, other happenings. I know there were arguments and melt-downs and impatience. Stress and pressure and exhaustion.

I know that I was often overwhelmed. That calm felt far away at times.

And I feel that now. A searching for peace in this grief that threatens to swallow me. A need for renewal of joy and a contented heart. For truthful worshipping.

Searching for Christmas. Searching for Christ.

And remembering why He came.

Because He came to rescue from all the doing and trying and failing. To rescue from all the darkness and sin inside of us. The sin that separates us from God and never leaves us–selfishness and pride and unbelief. The sin of falling short and never doing enough, never being enough.

Infant child and mighty God–He came to save us.

And He is the only one who can fill that empty place in us. Bring light to our hearts and minds. Give us hope and a future. Provide a way to peace with God.

He is the one who can hold us up, carry us in our weakness. He can put our feet on a rock and make our paths straight. He can revive and restore and bring peace.

He can heal all of the broken places inside of us. The churning and the doubting and the grasping. The longing for more or for different. The disquiet. The sorrow.

He can satisfy. He can penetrate all the hurting places. He can make all things new.

He can still the sadness, speak peace into the not-so-silent night.

Won’t you let Him?

O come, Thou Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Where are you, Christmas?

  1. Thank you for sharing:
    ” He is the one who can hold us up, carry us in our weakness. He can put our feet on a rock and make our paths straight. He can revive and restore and bring peace.
    He can heal all of the broken places inside of us. The churning and the doubting and the grasping. The longing for more or for different. The disquiet. The sorrow.” Grieving with you; but for a daughter that is not living for the Lord, if she indeed has the Spirit within her.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for this post. Our recent card in church #28 The benefit of knowing about God’s providence is that it makes us patient in adversity and thankful in prosperity, so that we may place our firm trust in our Heavenly Father concerning everything that befalls us. Still praying for you and your family…..remembering.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the reminders of the past and the now. Today. Today, I can relax my shoulders and breathe. Today I can face what is here, for now. I know I can. Because I did. He carried me in the past. I know He will carry me today. For me, Christmas is that reminder of the loved ones who are with God, of the loved ones I can still enjoy here and now, and of that day when we will be together forever. Though I long for THAT day, I can face this one. Because He is, He is, and He will always be with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you again for the inspiration you share while in the valley of grief. I find your words so real. It is no wonder the emotions go up and down as waves of the sea. Because we do face great loss, but at the same time KNOW the one that gives HOPE. When doubts arise, God is there to speak peace once again.

    I have been amazed at the words of Christmas carols this year, they speak of grief.
    Here are the words of one that speaks to our sorrow and grief.

    Star of the East words by George Cooper

    Star of the East, oh Bethlehem star,
    Guiding us on to heaven afar
    Sorrow and grief and lull’d by the light
    Thou hope of each mortal, in death’s lonely night

    Fearless and tranquil, we look up to Thee
    Knowing thou be m’st through eternity
    Help us to follow where Thou still dost guide
    Pilgrims of earth so wise

    Star of the East, thou hope of the soul
    While round us the dark billows roll
    Lead us from sin to glory afar
    Thou star of the East, thou sweet Bethlehem’s star

    Star of the East, oh Bethlehem’s star,
    What tho’ the storms of grief gather loud
    Faithful and pure thy rays beam to save
    And bright o’er the cradle and bright o’er the grave

    Smiles of a Saviour are mirror’d in Thee
    Glimpses of Heav’n in thy light we see
    Guide us still onward to that blessed shore
    After earth toil is o’er

    Star of the East, thou hope of the soul
    Oh star that leads to God above
    Whose rays are peace and joy and love
    Watch o’er us still till life hath ceased
    Beam on, bright star, sweet Bethlehem star

    Thinking of you this Christmas season, with one missing from your family circle.
    Love, Diane H

    Like

    • Diane, thank you for sharing this beautiful carol. I, too, have noticed the solemn words of songs this Christmas. Sorrow and joy all mingled together, just as life is. May His peace surround and enfold you and yours this season.

      Like

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