Thursday, December 17, 2015


In the season of Christmas we have an assumption that Christmastime is supposed to be the most wonderful (and happiest) time of the year. As I get older and more aware and connected to tragedy and pain surrounding me, I find myself frustrated and a bit angry. Somewhat like a customer at a white tablecloth restaurant that is disappointed in the service I am receiving. "Let me see the manager! My food isn't hot, and the air conditioning is turned up too high. I didn't order this, and you aren't fast enough at bringing me what I'm asking for." Do I treat God like this? 
Well...I guess I sometimes do. "God, it's Christmas and this isn't supposed to be happening! Why Lord would this precious family lose their loved one right before Christmas?  Where are you God? Are you paying attention?"
Wait...God isn't like the manager of a restaurant that is in the kitchen unaware that his customers are uncomfortable. 
He is the God of the universe. He is The King of Kings, Lord of Lords AND he is Jesus, lover of our souls!

"Christmastime" is an overblown, overworked, overdone, over stressful time of the year. Yep. I said it. It kinda stinks. There is stress with work, family,  and buying gifts for kids that really don't lack for anything. It's excessive. It feels Less like Christmas and more like this "Christmastime" that we have created. 

This year, our town has witnessed a lot of pain, sickness and loss.  I want to stomp my foot and say "This isn't fair, God! It's not supposed to be like this!" The truth of the matter is that it IS supposed to be like this. It is promised:

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

When king Herod found out that he had been tricked by the wise men, he had his men murder every child that was born around the same time as Jesus (Matthew 2:16). This is in the Christmas story! Our nativities that we set on our mantles don't necessarily depict the seriousness of what took place. Mary was young and probably frightened to give birth in a barn or cave among filthy conditions. Joseph had to have been somewhat freaked out about the whole thing. For those of us that have given birth, can you imagine?
I feel sure that it was a holy experience (despite the conditions), as mary looked upon the face of her child, The King!
The message of Christmas created by Hollywood films feed into our expectations of it being such a wonderful life. Let's drink egg nog, hang the stockings and toast to our lives of perfection and ease. The true message of Christmas is that the world is in pain, and in need of a Savior! Jesus, the only perfect lamb, came to experience pain, loss, ridicule and death bearing our sin on a cross. To take our punishment for us. 
"..we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Romans 5:3-4

Please don't see this as a Debbie Downer post. It's quite the opposite!
Jesus says, "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
We have hope! The suffering around us should drive us into the arms of the Lord!

So I am going to change my method of operation. Instead of frustration, sadness and disappointment overtaking me, I want to run into the arms of my Savior. He knows our pain and holds every tear in his hands. 

I pray that this Christmastime will be spent celebrating Christmas (as soon as I finish doing all the things I need to do).  Help me, Lord Jesus!

Merry Christmas!
Love, Liz