THE MOST PAINFUL TIME OF YEAR
There will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
(Isaiah 9:1, 6)
Christmas is celebrated by many as “the most wonderful time of the year”. It is a season of hope and joy, of singing and giving – but not for everyone. For many, this is a time of despair, loneliness and pain – a season of remembering tough times. Through the hustle and bustle of it all, you will brush by and even talk to people who are smiling on the outside but grieving on the inside. For some, this is their first Christmas without a loved one. For others, this is just another lonely day, no different than all the rest.
This time of year ushers in so many feelings and emotions. Regardless of their root, most of them are wrapped up tight and held inside all year. Whether we like it or not, Christmas seems to unwrap them and bring them to the surface. And that’s ok. The most important thing we can do is hand them all over to Jesus. He is the Joy that takes the place of distress. He is the Prince of Peace. He is the Son that is given and the child that is born.
Do you see the difference Isaiah points out between the “child” and the “son”? A child is born, but the Son is given. This goes beyond our reasoning, for a child must enter this world through the birth canal before it can be a son. But not Jesus – He existed before his earthly birth. God loved us so much that He gave us his Son; and we behold his glory, full of grace and truth.
Let His peace rule in your heart. Allow His love to heal your hurt. Though you may not feel “merry”, thank God for his ultimate Gift – Eternity suddenly found lying in a manger.