My Christmas Present has included much prayer and concern for the world and those in my sphere of presence. I see parents who have lost their children, friends in final illnesses, friends who have lost their jobs, the homeless under the overpasses in the frigid night air, and a nation torn over political philosophies with no tolerance for an opposing conviction and a total loss of all civility. I have put up the trimmings, played the seasonal music, planned the time with loved ones, and yet I cannot seem to forget all of the sorrow, distress, pain, and disrepair I see all around me. My question has become, "What does God require of me in this hurting world?" How can I celebrate when so many are unable to move beyond their distress?
God desires peace for us. How do I find peace in a world filled with sorrow, anger, and pain? And yet, how could I not celebrate when I remember the true meaning of the season. When I reflect on the birth of a baby so long ago, how could I not remember with awe and wonder that first Christmas. There is only one answer, and it is His birthday we celebrate.
J E S U S
I am called to pray for all these I have mentioned, help those in my path, and trust Him for the peace that passes all understanding. God desires my concern, but God does not want me to become mired down in all that is wrong. God wants me to remember what is right with the world--remember Who is always by our side--remember He is the Great Comforter--remember He has a plan for us. God wants me to celebrate, be thankful, and find joy in all the blessings which surround me. God desires my presence in the present--and for me to remember there is always hope which is sustained by my faith.
So be assured, if you think Christmas will be better behind you, I am praying for you. If the pain of loss, aloneness, sickness, or dire circumstance are overwhelming, I am praying for you. If the wonder of the season is hidden behind the veil of grief, He will comfort you, as I pray for you. The very one who is the reason for the season--He is right beside you--and He loves you beyond your wildest dream. He is present in your very present and He is reason enough to celebrate.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.