What a difference a year makes.
This time last year was a blur. I was changing jobs and moving across the state. The holidays were filled with hurried goodbyes and anxious hellos. Our family was so preoccupied with the transition that we truly didn’t take time to soak in the holidays.
Not this year.
Things have slowed down. We’ve settled in our new home. We’ve hosted breakfasts, dinners and devotionals. We broke out old decorations and bought some new ones. We are soaking it up.
But perhaps I’ve become too self-absorbed.
Earlier this week I ran into an old friend from high school at the grocery. We quickly caught up on life and work. I realized that he had recently experienced some pain in his life and- as a result- he was struggling to get out of depression. He told me he simply wanted to “survive Christmas.”
What a sad thought. His personal pain and struggles had brought him to his knees..to a new low point. In fact, the hustle and bustle of the holidays had created a black cloud over his whole disposition. He just wanted to survive the Christmas holiday.
It’s clouded his view of Jesus.
Perhaps you know someone like my old friend…someone who is struggling during the holidays.
Maybe it’s an illness or the recent loss of a loved one. Perhaps is a changing family dynamic or a work transition. It could be the pain of a failed relationship.
Whatever the reason- we all know people who are hurting right now. People who are just trying to survive Christmas.
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5: 3-5
God gives us hope. We know that we’ll face hardships and trails in this life, but God provides. We know the good news of Jesus, and we need to seek opportunities to share His love with others.
Let’s make those calls to those who need a boost this week.
Let’s visit the sick and reconnect with old friends who need a kind word.
Let’s display acts of kindness to those who are struggling.
Please pray for me to recognize my opportunities to spread the good news of Jesus- and actively seek out those in need of encouragement.
I don’t want anyone to just survive Christmas. I want them to bask in the glory of Jesus.
And let me know how I may pray for you.