It’s the Holiday season, the most wonderful time of the year as they say—or perhaps for you it’s the most heart-wrenching time of the year, as it becomes a mirror to everything you’ve lost. Maybe you too have experienced deep, huge, devastating losses this year. Maybe it’s been a year full of sorrow, pain, grief and anguish. If that’s the case for you the Holiday season may only be causing the losses to weigh heavier and heavier on your heart.
The holly, jolly cheer and constant glee and joy that seems to perpetually surround us, can seem to amplify our lack of cheer, as our losses are simply magnified during a time of the year that is supposed to be all about family and loved ones, joy and excitement. You may feel as if you can’t muster up a single ounce of Holiday cheer, you may want to shut off the Christmas carols every time they come on the radio and if you’re honest you may simply want to just fast forward past this holiday season. Feeling as if you can no longer keep holding it together or plastering another fake smile on your face as you wish someone a “Merry Christmas”, while inwardly you struggle to hold back the tears.
The Holidays can be hard when you’re in the midst of grief and missing a loved one. But you know what? If you don’t feel your normal cheery self that’s okay. If you don’t want to join in all the festivities or can’t decorate your house like you usually do that’s okay too. Give yourself grace in this season. It may be hard this year, but it won’t be this hard forever, so during this extra hard time allow grace for your grieving.
But even if you’re not excited about the Holiday’s and don’t feel festive or have any Holiday joy to give, remember that you can still celebrate Christmas. How? Because the story of Christmas is what gives us hope in the midst of our sorrow and pain. Christmas is about God seeing all of the problems in the world including your grief and sorrow and creating a way to restore, redeem and ultimately end all suffering. God has promised to fix all our problems and he has done this by sending Jesus to be born as a baby in a manager to end all suffering, this is what Christ’s entrance into the world is all about. Christ came to offer us life, to defeat sin and redeem the world so that one day there will be no more tears.
He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.
‘… There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’”
So this Holiday season as there may be an empty chair at the table, a missing stocking hanging in front of the fireplace, one less person in the family photos and a deep unrelenting ache in your heart, remember that there IS hope this Christmas because Jesus has come to end all suffering. So one day, there will be no more disease, no more tragedy, no more suffering no more death. That’s a reason for hope and celebration!