Tis the season. Here we are, once again rapidly approaching the end of another year. 2021, a chapter in history, a chapter in our lives. A chapter filled with twists and turns that we never foresaw, some good and some bad and some twists so significant life is forever changed.
Life is hard. We experience pains so deep that we wonder if we can survive. Monumental losses that leave gaping holes of emptiness never to be filled. I see it all the time, tragedies that leave permanent paralysis with deep wounds and horrific scars.
So many folks rush to the end of the year wanting just to be done and move far away from this period of time full of sorrow snd suffering. Expectant hearts and minds run to escape the dark shadow of a cruel year in hopes of a better one.
But this is life and it’s messy and we don’t get to pick our messes. Oh sure, some messes are made by us, and others are made because of the recklessness of others, but often, life hands us a heartache we never saw coming and we are left to maneuver through it with no road map. It’s hard.
If anything, each passing year affirms that nothing of this life lasts forever. It’s a painful reality that we are all awakened to at some point in our life, although for some, more cruelly than others.
And then we get to the holidays. The “happiest” time of the year, at least that is what we like to believe. But for so many, it is the opposite. They are just trying to get by from the day before Thanksgiving until the day after New Year; it is a season of survival.
If we could only truly get back to the purpose of this season. If we could only marinate in the truth of why we celebrate. If we could only grab a hold of that precious life that entered this broken, damaged world over 2000 years ago bringing with it deliverance. If only, our distorted lens could be so clear, we’d see the radiant light of hope.
The only thing this coming year can offer is uncertainty. We can be certain of more chaos and hurt. Politics divide the closest of families. Friends decide to betray and leave. The world is threatened with the craziness of sickness, corruption and lies. And loss never comes when we are ready. There is no bunker of safety to shield us from what may lie ahead, we are all vulnerable to a questionable tomorrow.
But there is glory. There is an immovable, unshakable, unwavering God who is never caught off guard by the destructive forces of the world. He is never blindsided by what comes our way. He is our God. He’s our glory, the lifter of our head.
Jesus came and did what no human could ever do, He conquered death and paved a way for eternal life for those who believe. It’s this simple truth that is so hard for some to grasp. The hope He brought is comparable to nothing this world offers. We don’t have to live in the former pains of the past because even through our suffering, Jesus will make all things work together for His glory, a glory we now only dimly see, but one day will see in complete fullness.
The past days, weeks and months of 2021 may have been a continual crushing blow and you find you are barely surviving. The overwhelming and all consuming pain of what was brought to your doorstep may have left you broken and deeply depressed. Don’t despise the season. The heart of Christmas is the heart of Jesus and His heart is for you. Regardless of every stupid choice we’ve made and every painful circumstance, He came for you, to walk with you, to carry you, to restore you all because He loves you.
So, yes, tis the season. Tis the season that brings life in abundance. Tis the season that reminds us of the hope we have every day of our life. Don’t end the year without Him and don’t enter another year forsaking Him. He stands at your door, and He knocks. Let Him in. Let Him into every dirty, broken, painful door of your life and reframe your world as you reframe Christmas to what it was meant to be.