The most magical of holidays is quickly, quickly, oh so quickly approaching.
There are still things on my to-do list. Things that may or may not get done. At this point, I’m just weighing the amount of sanity and energy I posses against the amount of things to get done.
*Glares into the sunset* it does not look good, folks.
I’m kidding. Truly. But sometimes, don’t you ever wish that you could be like Luther and Nora from Christmas with the Kranks?
It’s one of my favorite Christmas movies. After watching, sometimes I wish I could cancel Christmas too. But of course I won’t. Still, wouldn’t it be nice to hide from this Christmas madness?
Let’s talk about something phenomenal.
Around Christmas…and no, even before. Even preceding Thanksgiving there begins this thing which I will call “the holiday deception”.
Stay with me.
Holiday deception?? It’s where a person feels they must have x time for activities, x money for presents, and generally make the holidays incredibly special for themselves and their families.
Maybe it’s just a mom thing. I don’t know.
But for me, my life right now is like a gigantic holiday explosion. My bank account has exploded, my purse exploded all over my car, My kitchen sink, my sanity, my life. Exploded.
Yesterday I went to the grocery store after a gruelling dentist appointment. In the process of grabbing a container of yogurt from the top shelf, another fell down and, yes, released its contents onto the bottom of the cooler.
It is how I feel about Christmas right now.
That yogurt fiasco has come at the end of a series of trials.
The furnace quit working. (It has been fixed.) Our oven quit working. I was dealing with a health concern. I was getting anxious about bills. We are down to one car.
All these things and others piled up until I was just crying out to God. Just wondering why. Why all these things were happening and why they were happening to me.
It all felt so unfair.
And yeah, it’s not a super large amount of things. But sprinkled with holiday stress and a baby on the way (you heard it!), it starts to feel that way.
And there are some out there who are struggling on deeper levels. Your hurt, your anguish, your pain speaks loudly.
And you’re wondering why. Why me. Why at Christmas.
Let me share with you something that spoke to me just a few months after Christmas, almost 10 years ago.
I came home from college in December, and I was quite frankly a mess. There was not much room in my heart for holidays and joy and festivities.
The why is hard to explain. I was dealing with a lot of stress and some unresolved grief. But at the core, the very core of my struggle was my relationship with God. Something was broken and needed to be fixed.
I was like a broken clock, whom only God knew how to mend.
A lot of people walk around like that. Broken, hurting. At times these people wear complicated masks that disguise their deep hurt, rather than exposing it. Those who hurt deepest can appear to be the most unfriendly.
For a time, I was one of those people. And to be honest, I can easily become a difficult person when faced with trials.
But you know what? Thank the Lord for friends who echo the love of God. For my birthday (10 years ago) I was given a Bible. Not just any Bible, it was a collection of Psalms and Proverbs.
What drew me to open up this little book, I’m not sure. I was bored and wanted something to read, perhaps. After all, even depressed me still enjoys a good book.
But even deeper and more sure than boredom was this lingering hope. This small truth, that deep in my heart I still knew. I knew it to be truth.
His Word has the power to restore.
And so I read.
This is the verse that hit my heart, like a brilliant white sliver of light shining into a forest of deepest dark.
“For He knows how weak we are; He remembers we are only dust.”
I can tell you that two things came to mind as I read and re-read that one verse.
1) That God created me, just the same as he created Adam, breathing life into His creation.
2) That maybe, just maybe my trials weren’t a reflection of my failings, but proof that I was human, only dust.
Dust. Feels almost like an insult, right? But God created Adam from it. Gave that dust new life.
The Bible says that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)
He illuminates our life.
We can feel broken and useless, like a string of Christmas lights turned dark because of our struggles. Then God comes along and speaks light!
He knows the pattern, the bulb, so to speak that needs turned so that our light is again bright.
He can do that for you. I know because He has done it for me.
My concern about bills. About our oven. My health concern. They are are all being taken care of. God hears all of our cries and takes care of us in beautifully indescribable ways.
He is faithful. (Psalm 33:4, Lamentations 3:22-23)
God has not forgotten you. (Hosea 11:8, Psalm 94:14, Joshua 1:5)
He remembers, and He sees. (Psalm 139:16, Ephesians 3:17-21)