When all is not calm or bright at Christmas.

Christmas is now less than two weeks away and despite the less-than-typical December weather here in the north, the community is buzzing with excitement. This past weekend, we attended our church’s Christmas Concert, Avery got to see her first Nutcracker ballet, and we drove through a beautifully decorated park to look at Christmas lights. All that combined with a few already wrapped presents under our tree and I am beginning to feel that Christmas is actually less than two weeks away.

While excitement rings through our home, I can’t help but think of those who may see another Christmas passing…with another unanswered prayer…another lost loved one…another lost job…another Christmas spent single…another Christmas spent childless…another Christmas spent _______________. Fill in your blank.

With all that has been happening in the world over the past year, coupled with our own disappointments and trials, it’s easy to let darkness overshadow the LIGHT that Christmas is.

I took on a challenge of my good friend Kristi Stephens after reading her recent blog last night. I got up extra early this morning…turned on our Christmas lights, poured myself a cup of coffee and I opened God’s Word.

I opened to Matthew 1: 20-22 which talks of the birth of Jesus Christ.

In verse 21 the angel is speaking to Joseph and tells him, “She [Mary] will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

HE WILL SAVE HIS PEOPLE.

Jesus came to the world to SAVE HIS PEOPLE. Jesus is the LIGHT of the world. God saw the darkness of the world, the struggles, the disappointments, the continuous failures of our “not good enoughs”…and He came. God incarnate screams of His eternal care for us because He left the perfectness of Heaven and came to this broken, sin-filled world to suffer alongside us and to die in our place to secure our salvation.

Verse 23 states “…and they shall call his name Immanuel (which means God with us).”

Immanuel – God WITH us.

Through this passage, I am reminded of God’s goodness and care for us. I am reminded of Jesus’ unfailing love for us. And I pray that it reminds you of the same.

Whatever your struggles are this year…today, Jesus came for them. He came before you and has seen this trial…He has seen this hard struggle and walk in your life before you were even born. He picked it for you, actually and will use it for His good…your good.

Jesus is the light of the world, and He will light this path for you. He will shine His light upon ALL of the darkness. He will walk alongside you and take on your burdens. He will remove your struggles and give you peace if you simply set your eyes on Him.

This Christmas season, will you set your eyes on Jesus? Will you hand over ALL of your struggles to Him? Will you surrender everything to Him so that He can fill you up with His peace and love and JOY this Christmas.

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His will, His way…

Lisa

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