What do you do when Christmas feels like any other day in your heart? I have found myself asking that question multiple times over the last twenty-four days and then once again this morning.
While commercials and conversations talk about shopping for your friends and family, what gifts have been purchased and being wrapped to give, parties that are being planned, and foods that are going to be prepared, you may find yourself in what feels like one of those movies where you wake up to live the same day over and over.
I have many family and friends this year that are spending Christmas for the first time without a loved one, dealing with financial struggles, health problems that seem never-ending, family issues, or something that has made Christmas not quite the same this year. Maybe this is you, maybe this is me, maybe this is someone you know.
Even when we wake up with no gifts to open, no family to spend time with, feeling the same pain, or looking at an empty chair where that loved one once sat as we experienced the joy of Christmas, we can find comfort and encouragement through these words…
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
Through Jesus we find all that we could need and long for. Any emptiness or sadness we feel, He can fill with His love and joy. It may not take away the heartache of missing someone we love or magically make all of life’s trials disappear in an instant, but He does sustain and comfort us through it all.
Through Jesus we have a hope that nothing in this world could ever take away, a hope that we will see that loved one once again, a hope that says no matter what we’re facing and how dim things may look today, light is coming again.
He is our Wonderful Counselor who when our heart is hurting, He teaches us many things like no one else can, listens like no one else ever will, and guides us in the right direction.
He is our Mighty God who is One with the Father and has more power than anything we are facing. Mighty in it’s very definition is great in amount and characterized by superior power and strength. So when our hurt is so great that it feels unbearable today, we can find joy because He is greater!
He is our Everlasting Father who is eternal. We can’t lose Him, He is our constant. Though on this earth we temporarily lose those that we love until the glorious day that we meet once again because we know Christ, we simply cannot lose Him! He has promised to never leave us and if there’s one thing I have learned, He keeps all of His promises!
He is our Prince of Peace who reconciles us to our God and the giver of peace in our hearts. Whatever hurt, loss, or questions that may be swirrling around in our hearts, He is the answer, the only answer that can bring true peace.
Those are gifts that are priceless, irreplaceable, and won’t lose their value after today passes. Gifts that tell us how much we are loved. The only gift that truly matters is the gift of Jesus Christ, and He was given to us!
So what do we do when Christmas feels like any other day?
We dig in and unwrap the very gift that was chosen just for us, the gift of truth, the gift of love, the gift that makes every other day feel like Christmas! We get to unwrap the joy of Christmas every single day and revel in the mystery, the excitement, and the hope of a new season.
In this season of hope, joy, and peace, I am someone who has felt this way. I have struggled emotionally, I have had more questions wandering in my mind than birds wandering the skies, and I have prayed and asked God to lift me up and remind my heart of His promises. While my family slept through Christmas morning with no rush to the tree, I have felt the rush of His presence and for that I am forever thankful.
It doesn’t mean we don’t have faith or that we don’t trust, it simply means we are human and we will experience emotions. God created emotions and they can draw us closer to Him. It means that we need Him each and every day and reminds us of how faithful He is to always be there. It means that maybe, just maybe it doesn’t feel like Christmas today because we’ve been experiencing Christmas every day!
If you are someone who has been asking yourself this very question this year, I am praying with and for you. I can’t take your hurt away, I can’t answer your questions, and I can’t make things different for you, but I pray for your heart to be encouraged.
If you know someone who may be feeling this way, take time to listen to them and give them the freedom just to talk about it. Give them room to feel the way they feel and simply love them through it. Share this article with them in hopes of it being a small encouragement to their heart.
Lord, thank You for the gift of Your Son, Jesus Christ. His birth, His death, and His resurrection is by far the greatest gifts we could ever receive. Thank You that everyday is Christmas in the hearts who have received Your Son and for the hope we have in Him! ~ In Jesus Name, Amen.