You may be excited about Christmas and that’s wonderful! But Christmas is NOT the MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR for everybody. For some it is a heartbreaking time where they feel alone and forgotten or just uncared for.
Christmas can be a time of financial struggle or MORE financial struggle. “We already can’t make ends meet! How can we buy everybody LIFE-CHANGING GIFTS?!”
If you have lost a loved one, Christmas can be a time of sadness. Tornadoes still hit at Christmas, floods, death and sickness still come. Instead of decorating the tree and watching a Christmas movie, maybe you’d rather hang black material in the windows and play sad country music to help you cry. You WANT to be excited. You WANT to sing Joy to the World and mean it, but life has just been hard.
If we are asking ourselves in secret, “Where are you Christmas?” God reminds us in Jeremiah 29:13 if we seek Him, we will find Him, so let’s search His Word to see where He was working that first Christmas…
In Luke 1:26-38, when Gabriel told Mary she would give birth to the Son of God, she TRULY BELIEVED and was fully surrendered. We read, “For nothing is impossible with God,” but, do we really believe it? How would our lives and our Christmas be if we acted like we TRULY BELIEVED?
In Matthew 1:18-25, Joseph OBEYED GOD QUICKLY. The Bible doesn’t say Joseph prayed every morning, “God, use me today as an instrument in Thy Hands.” But it does say he was a righteous man, so that means he had a walk with God.
When God spoke, he didn’t give it a week or two to think about it. He didn’t pray for another sign. He ACTED. He OBEYED! Lives depended on it! So…these days, we pray, “O, LORD, use me as an instrument in Your Hands…lead me…use me…” but when He opens the door, what do we do? Do we put it off? Do we plan for it another time? How would our lives and our Christmas be if we OBEYED GOD QUICKLY?
Luke 2:8-12: The angel said, “Do not be afraid, I have good news!” People NEED to hear good news! Do you realize how many people suffer from anxiety these days? I recently talked to three women-all believers-who were in tears, so worried, so fearful of things going on in their lives. They all said, “I CAN’T stop worrying!” My words are no comfort to anyone. But…GOD’S WORD…CAN do it! So I gave them Bible verses. I encouraged them to write them on their mirror and to say them out loud.
The angel was not sharing his own words. He was telling what God had told him to say! The beauty is that we don’t have to come up with something genius to share with others. IT’S ALREADY WRITTEN DOWN!
How would our lives and our Christmas be if we ENCOURAGED OTHERS WITH GOD’S WORD?
Last one: Luke 2:13-20: The shepherds were at work. Nobody expects God to show up at work, but He did! Then they hurried off, found Mary, Joseph and the Baby and then told everybody they saw about it! They SPREAD THE WORD! What do we do with the life-changing story of Jesus? Do we decorate with lights and Christmas trees and then keep it to ourselves? I pray we will have the courage and excitement of the shepherds and SPREAD THE WORD to everybody we can!
This Christmas may not be our Hallmark Christmas movie. We may be without presents or people we love, may be somewhere we don’t want to be or have health issues. When we look at the original Christmas story, it wasn’t like the Christmas cards we see. There’s no tree…no mistletoe…no stockings…or garland. The only lights were the stars and the only gift was lying in the manger…and it was enough! HE WAS THE BEST GIFT OF ALL!
Dawn Reed is a newspaper columnist and pastor's wife in Prestonsburg. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.