Friday, December 12, 2014

It really is a wonderful life

Christmas is a magical time of year. The lights, the tree, the carols, the cookies, children's joyous faces as each surprise delights them. There is so much anticipation and expectation of "great joy." We are told to be joyful, for Jesus is the reason for the season. And rightly so!

 But what if your Christmas season feels a little bit more like George Baileys? And it doesn't have to be losing a ton of money and facing ruin and jail time, it can be a small collection of things: a broken washing machine whose parts just keep breaking, the kids all have the croup, you are desperately trying to pay off medical bills and credit card bills, your husband is working three jobs and you just can't seem to get ahead, someone you love is suffering and sick, or worse, has passed away, the car stops working or needs major repair, the list goes on and on...


It would be a wonderful Advent season if it weren't for....

I would be able to make cookies and sing and be happy if only...

You sing "Glory to the newborn King" with an empty heart.

And you see your poor husband, your poor George Bailey and you can't magically fix everything with a fairy godmother's wand. You can pray and pray and pray. And somehow in the back of your mind sits Mary (Donna Reed). Her abilities of beautiful, perfect, happy wife who worries for her husband, but keeps her smile and her cool is unparalleled. George is ready to go crazy over a loose stair railing (or in this case a washing machine that refuses to work) and you as a wife feel more like a shepherd from that first Christmas night. You want refuge and quiet and peace. But even the sheep are too loud.

And the guilt in your heart that wishes you could be more like Mary and the regret for that snarky word you said to your husband when he needed Mary's smile....

And the radio station plays "In the Bleak Midwinter" and the stanza about "what can I bring Him, poor as I am," and you think of the bills...

And all of a sudden you remember.

You remember you gave Him your heart. You remember that this isn't a Hollywood movie script, it's God's. And even though everything doesn't perfectly sum up and be resolved at the end of the movie, that God's orchestration has made it all for this reason: His Salvation. He CAME!



We give our hearts to Him, and He holds us and loves us so much more than we can fathom. Everything washes away as He says triumphantly 


Even though this giant boulder grows bigger on our backs, we look to the cross (that ancient tree of old that carried the most important light) and as Christian's burden was lifted, so is ours. And the roughness of this season is nothing compared to the roughness of the cross. So be joyful, not out of emptiness.

But the fullness of His love,
And come before Him,
Fall on your knees,
O hear the angel voices,
and poor as you are,
give Him your heart,
O come let us adore Him,
Let Joy come to your World,
let your hearts rest in this Silent Night,
rest in His holiness.
Be comforted, my people
Come, All ye faithful!
Joyful, Triumphant!