A couple days before all the twinkling lights were removed, the evergreen boughs were swept up off the floor, the empty cookie tins were cleaned of their crumbs, and the gifts were neatly put in their rightful spots, a picture was taken and linked to my blog showing my family in the middle of our Christmas festivities. It revealed genuinely happy faces, hearts that connected, eyes that beamed with gratitude and love – all in a festive backdrop. It was a precious time.
It seems like the perfect life, doesn’t it? So very jolly! Maybe you looked at my picture and wondered why some people have all those kinds of blessings when your life is a mess right now. Were those your thoughts and questions?
Christmas had been wonderful…
Then this week dropped in. It’s already brought:
- Death of a family member
- A personal physical issue to be addressed soon
to name a few.
What do we do and how are we to respond when the “twinkle is taken out of our mistletoe,” if you will?
- We must turn our gaze to Christ. Look at him – not the problem – not the people who have hurt you. Look at Jesus Who is the Author and finisher of our faith. In doing so, we remember that these are the very reasons that brought Christ to this world. We are desperate without Him. Did you watch my video during Christmas that showed the broken ornament? I said that Christ came for the broken – broken people, broken relationships, a broken world. Our lives will not be free from these weighty matters until we are in heaven with Christ.
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
2. We must remember that our situation is not hopeless. I love these verses…
Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.
But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill.
Why aren’t we hopeless? Because God hears our prayers. He lifts up our head! We are never without hope because Christ is seated on the right hand of God, interceding for us. He was victorious over death and the grave and now we have hope! He lives! He’s at work even in our difficult situations!
3. We must remember that God is using these hardships for our good. What is the good? Maturity into Christlikeness. Would you rather quit? Me too, but Proverbs 24:10 reminds us –
If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. Proverbs 24:10
So often when I want to throw in the towel, I say, “But I don’t want my strength to be small! I want God’s strength!” He gives it and we press forward with grace for each step. One day we’ll look behind us and see what God was doing during that hard time. We’ll be glad then that we didn’t give up!
Whether it’s Christmas or July 4th, our “holly” days can turn into not so jolly days in a matter of minutes! When your life situation has lost the luster of the fun, happy days of the past,
Look at Jesus,
Remember your hope and
Remind yourself of God’s transforming work in your life!
He’s lifting your head today!\