And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2: 6-7
… A few more days until Christmas. Every area of the city and even the rural areas are packed with people racing to fulfill the wishes of kids and adults alike; chasing the mighty Christmas gift. To some, this season is the culmination of a long awaited item, a full calendar of events of services, gatherings and a break from work and school. Meanwhile to others, it’s considered the worst time of the year.
I am one of those that fit in between all of the above. I love what the season stands for; the birth of Christ Jesus, the spirit of giving and normally joy and celebration. But there are so many of us, who are waiting for Monday, December 25th to be over! If a few people reading this would be honest, they’d admit they get a touch of the Grinch as well.
When I read today’s key verse (above), what stuck out to me was the fact that after they left to go back to pay taxes in Bethlehem, they had absolutely no place to go. Jesus was not born in a comfy birthing center, with all the comforts of home. Mary and Joseph had to make the best out of what became a desperate situation. So many people today are faced with dire situations and the holiday season seems to make matters worse. Not always lack of a home, a physical place, but the lack of a sense of belonging. Families are broken, there’s been a loss of loved ones, financial strain, the stress of accommodating others and an over active spirit of heaviness.
So what do you do when you don’t feel like being bothered by people during the season that is supposed to be family-ish; all about love, joy and hope?
- Refocus. Think about the real reason for the season. Jesus came. Joy Came, Healing Came, Hope Came. Salvation came! Although it’s hard at times, we have to remember the awesome gift that God gave us in Jesus.
- Come out of isolation. This is something I struggle with because when I close myself up in my room, I feel safe. I don’t have to be vulnerable. But I also am not facing my issues and surrounding myself with the people who are important to me. Embrace how you feel this Christmas season, BUT DON’T STAY THERE!
- Reminisce on great times with family throughout your life. Some things may not be going the way you planned, loved ones may be gone or a great distance away, but hold the great memories dear. Think of every good thing in your life, even if it seems like there aren’t many. A grateful heart will turn your thoughts away from grief and hopelessness.
God, I want to encourage myself and someone reading this that we can get through this season. Because Jesus lives, we can face any day and tomorrow. I pray they receive presents that is a balm for brokenness; something intangible; something money can’t buy, something that heals hearts. I pray they are surrounded by people who love them, people that can help them celebrate not just the birth of Baby Jesus, but the birth of our Savior and Lord. God, thank you for miracles this Christmas. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.