3 Things to Remember When Christmastime is Difficult
No one wants to admit that sometimes Christmastime is neither merry nor bright. We rather dwell on scents of pine, twinkling lights, and winter wonderlands. I am no different.
I grew up romanticizing the holiday classics. Movies like Miracle on 34th Street, and It’s a Wonderful Life made this season all the more magical for me. I was wooed well into adulthood by the idea of happily ever after: boy meets girl, problems are solved, and everyone gets what they want in the end.
However, Christmas seems to magnify the tough reality that many people are lonely, problems remain unresolved, and everyone does not get what they want. In fact, tucked just below the subconscious is a truth we don’t want to acknowledge about our beloved holiday. Sometimes, Christmas can be difficult.
A loved one dies.
A marriage ends.
A job is lost.
A child is sick.
Money is scarce.
Families members are at odds with each other.
Situations linger threatening our holly jolly demeanor. Like weeds, seeds of sadness spring up and intermingle with our desire to be happy at Christmas. Often these seeds bloom into discouragement, despair, and sometimes depression, forcing us to marry the desired ideal with the present reality.
Questions of when, how, and if things will change bombard our minds. At a time when we want everything to be perfect we must acknowledge it isn’t. Even still, when we find ourselves in this difficult place, there are three things we can remember.
#1 The First Christmas, Though Beautiful, Was Difficult
Manger scenes depict the birth of Christ omitting the obvious challenges. Mary endured labor on a road trip, birth in a stable, and delivered a baby with a bounty on his head. And yet, in the midst of a less than ideal situation, the Savior of the world was born. When life is difficult, the presence of Christ, enables us to see our circumstance with an eternal perspective.
# 2 Hope is Not Subject to Conditions
This hope is resilient, persevering in the face of extreme obstacles. It is a hope that compels us to believe in:
Healing for the sick,
Reconciliation for the separated,
Joy for the broken, and
Grace for the imperfect.
This hope prevails in the face of all adversity.
# 3 Christmas Is About Christ
Man’s narcissistic obsession with ourselves has duped many into believing the lie that Christmas is about us: it is not. Agendas, ideals, and wants, inhibit our view. Intuitively, we know it’s about Christ, but instinctively we live otherwise.
This love drove Him to send Christ into the world to die for the sins of all mankind.
When life is difficult at Christmastime we can look to Christ. He alone can handle the pain of our circumstances. With him we are empowered to exchange:
Despair for hope,
Sorrow for Joy, and
Pain for Peace.
If you are in the midst of of a difficult circumstance this Christmas know that the enduring love of God is sufficient and extended to you.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 1 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
For More on this subject watch my live stream with Maya Dawson.