Monday, December 24, 2012

Man will live forevermore because of Christmas day!

Christmas is almost here!  Most everyone has joined the hustle and bustle of getting things ready and finding that perfect gift!  We've been so busy doing "Christmasy" things...going to concerts, the Grotto, Zoo lights with the kids, and church gatherings!  There's joy and anticipation in all the celebrating!  

Yet there are others who don't feel much like celebrating...who are wounded and sorrowful and missing loved ones or going through some crazy storm!

I have no words for the violence we've witnessed in our country these past couple weeks!  My heart is broken for the families dealing with the loss of their children and loved ones this Christmas season!  

When someone you know is grieving, and especially having a hard Christmas, it can be very difficult to know what to to help.  The truth is, there is nothing you can say that will erase sadness and pain.   But, in my experience, it is better to say something than to not say anything at all!

After Abigail went to be with the Lord, I can remember feeling so lonely at times.  There is a lonely feeling in that the world doesn't seem to stop for your grief.  Everyone keeps going on with life as if the life that just passed into eternity didn't matter.  I can remember almost being shocked by the fact that others around me were doing so well and feeling so well, because I couldn't stop crying for longer than 5 minutes at times.  Of course, rationally, this is the truth: life does go on...people do go on...the world does continue in spite of what happens to me or anyone else.  But in those hard times, it feels like you're the only one who is experiencing this kind of sadness. I can imagine it must be even harder at Christmas when most everyone is in the "Christmas spirit".  

Those that spoke with us and sent their condolences really made us feel like this mattered...Abigail mattered.  It was encouraging to see the outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and others in the body of Christ that we'd never met.  

Gracious words are a honeycomb
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
~Proverbs 16:24

Have the courage to be an encourager!  Reach out this season to families you know that are hurting!  It will mean the world to them!  Here are some things that others did to reach out to us in our grief that made us feel loved:

* invite them to Christmas dinner
* invite them to a concert or an event with your family this season
* send texts or messages of encouraging Bible verses or prayers
* pray for them in person when you see them or over the phone...and privately as well
* provide meals for them in their home
* offer to help clean their home or help them with errands...whatever the need be
* show up with some goodies for their kiddos...some Christmas cookies
* if they have children, offer to babysit them for a couple hours so the parents can get some rest...or offer to take the children to and from school
* offer a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear
* PRAY PRAY PRAY for their hearts to be filled with the peace and hope and joy of Christ!

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted 
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
~Psalm 34:18

My hope is that we can welcome the Christ-child this season in our the midst of our suffering and wounded the darkness of our sin...through whatever circumstance!  He is our joy and our hope!  One of my favorite Christmas songs says, "Man will live forevermore because of Christmas day!"  I love and praise God for this truth!  Without the Lord, the King of Kings, born in the darkness and turmoil of this world in a lowly stable to one day give His life as a sacrifice for us, we would not have hope or eternal life!  Praising Him today for His precious gift to us this season and praying our hearts would welcome Him and He would heal our brokenness!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear.  And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
~Luke 2:9-11


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