The holiday season is known for its joyous times with family, friends, presents and more. Growing up I loved the holiday season. I loved seeing family that I haven’t seen in a while. I loved the traditions like driving around looking at lights while listening to Christmas music, and reminding ourselves about the birth of Jesus. While this time is presented as a happy time for many, it is sadly, a time of sorrow for many as we reminisce on the good times with family members who have passed away or have departed from our lives for various reasons. Many people become depressed and isolated during the holiday season.
I too, have been at this point before. When my grandmother passed away in 2012, my entire family was affected. She was loved so much and was a staple in the holiday time. As the holiday season approaches, I reflect personally on the difficulties that this year has presented.
My family has lost three family members this year, we have seen sickness and tough times, we have been torn apart and hurt, and I had a rough pregnancy, which made me unable to be present with my family. This leads me to ask the question, “What do we do with all this sadness that consumes us during this time? How do we find joy in these next few weeks, while in the midst of suffering and grief?”
I think as Christians, we find joy in the one who saved our soul. Jesus Christ came into this world, died on a cross, and saved us from our sins. He is the reason for celebration during this season. While family traditions and get-togethers are great and fun, they are not the reason for the holidays. If these and presents are our priority, then we have clearly missed the point. I love my family, but my family did not die for me. I cannot find eternal joy or hope in family, but I can find both in Jesus Christ. Making Christ the center of the holiday season helps put our focus on Christ instead of others. Aligning this holiday with the truths of Scripture, takes our eyes off of ourselves and present circumstances, and focuses them on the goodness of our God. Daily we can be reminded of the hope found in Him, simply by meditating on the gospel each day that passes.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” One of my favorite authors, Christine Hoover, wrote a book called Searching for Spring. The concept of the book was absolutely beautiful, as she painted a picture using the four seasons and God making all things beautiful in His timing. In Ecclesiastes, we see the author realizing how he has all things under the sun; he has money, possessions, wives, popularity, yet it was not enough. He realized that true meaning and happiness is only found in Christ. In Ecclesiastes 3, he also recognizes that there is a season and a time for everything.
This means there is a time for sorrow, yet there is a time for beauty and happiness. Hoover gives the reminder that in God’s timing he will make all things beautiful. Whether or not we will see things be made perfect here on earth or made perfect in the time of restoration, we have hope and a promise that they will be made beautiful. Because God is God and He makes this promise, we can be filled with hope that he will make it all beautiful in his timing. God’s will for our lives is always for His glory and our good. This means that all of the trials and afflictions that present themselves in this life, will be used for His glory, our good, and will be made beautiful in His timing.
Our God who is the Creator, Savior, and Author of all, has made this promise so we can trust in His goodness and faithfulness. While yes, we can experience some sadness in the holiday season because we are reminded of people we love, or the tough times we have endured, we do not have to let these things consume us. We have a Father who loved us enough to send his son to die on the cross to save us from our sins. We have a God who will one day come back for his people and restore it all to perfection; where we as Christians, will no longer experience sadness or pain. Every tear will be wiped away by the goodness of our God who has redeemed us through his son Jesus Christ.
During this holiday season, I want to encourage you to sit and thank God for sending his Son to be born in a manger, die on a cross, and save us from our sins. Let us be reminded of the promises and hope, only found in Him.
Soli Deo Gloria
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