This Christmas just didn’t feel as magical and worshipful as those in the past. I don’t know what it was about this year. Maybe it was the sleep deprivation or the busyness, but I felt like Christ got lost this Christmas.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the presents and the decorating and the baking and all the preparations for Christmas. Before you know it, Christ has been pushed aside, buried under piles of wrapping paper and bows and you’ve missed His presence.
At our house, I felt like we were just surviving the holidays instead of really celebrating and reflecting. I know part of this was due to being busy and really tired. But I think part of it was due to my attitude. See, I didn’t really feel like celebrating much this Christmas. Why? All I could think about were the family members and personal friends who were persevering through some very difficult circumstances-a child in the hospital, a death in the family, a terrible sickness.
Christmas should be a time of joy, but instead, I watched those around me who were hurting and tired. And I just wondered why? Of course the answer is sin; we live in a sinful and fallen world. However, sometimes that answer just doesn’t satisfy.
You wonder, “why do bad things happen, why does God allow it, and why doesn’t He step in?” So, while I tried to prepare my heart for the holidays, I was left with those questions.
As I thought about loved ones, I remember my grandpa’s favorite verse. Nahum 1:7, “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble and he knoweth them that trust in him.” Even though it was his first Christmas celebration in Heaven, I can still hear him reciting that verse.
The words of the verse kept running through my mind as I prayed for family and friends. It’s hard watching others suffer and hurt when you can do nothing more than pray. Sometimes prayer seems so small when you want to do much more. God is a stronghold and I prayed that He would hold them and minister to them in ways that no one else could.
While praying that verse daily, it hit me that I no longer needed to question why those things happen. I will probably never know the answer to that question. It doesn’t really matter why, because God is good. The answer was in the verse and I had been missing it. I was focusing on God’s actions rather than who God is. God is good. And that’s all I really need to know.
We live in a sinful and fallen world that was so full of hurt this Christmas season. But as I recited my verse, I was able to claim some joy and some peace. I’ll never know all the answers and I don’t know what each day holds, but I can always know that God is good and that He will never change. Having a constant during the chaos brought a new sense of hope and a renewed focus.
So, next Christmas I’m going to remember my verse and never forget who God really is. Things surrounding us may not be good but God is. That’s why He sent His Son for us, that’s why He loves us, and that’s why He tenderly cares for us. When I view Christmas through that lens, I don’t think Christ will get lost in the shuffle. As I focus on the truth that God is good, I think my heart will be ready for Christmas. Even when blinded by hurt and sadness, I don’t want to miss Christ at Christmas. He’s always there and everything about Him is good. That is our reason to celebrate. So next year, I don’t want Christmas presents; I want His presence.