Friday, December 9, 2011

When the "Hap-Happiest Season of All" Doesn't Feel Like It

"For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."  2 Corinthians 4:6 (NIV)

The airwaves echo with music that declares,
"It's the most wonderful time of the year.
With the kids jingle-belling
And everyone telling you,
'Be of good cheer!'
It's the hap-happiest season of all...."

But what if it doesn't feel that way for you?  What if your reality screams that it's absolutely not? What if it takes every ounce of strength you can muster to work up a smile and pretend to "be of good cheer."

What if...
Your family member lays near death?

Or you've recently watched as their body was laid in the grave?

What if...
Illness ravages your body or that of someone you love?

What if that someone is your child?

What if...
Your child has chosen a lifestyle that contradicts the teachings of the home and the church ? 

A family member faces addiction?

Or mental illness?

Or both?

What if...
Your marriage is fractured...or broken?

Rejection overwhelms you?

What if...
You lost your job and a new one is not in sight?

You're homeless?

What if...
The answer to your prayers was, "No."?

Sadly, these are all situations that are real...that are close by...that have been witnessed in recent days...that repeat over the years.

Wednesday Worship this week proclaimed that "All is Well."  Honestly, after hearing accounts and looking into the eyes of those facing the struggles, I had to go back and listen to the words myself...with my own questioning.  The song doesn't deny that there is darkness in this world...even during this season.   It does, however, proclaim that because of the birth of our Saviour...the One who rescues us, defends us, comforts us, delivers us...because of Jesus, "darkness fell into the dawn of Love's light."

He "made His light shine in our the face of Christ."  That baby in the manger is our promise of hope...and light in the darkness.

Lord, You know every heart that is hurting.  And You came to heal the hurts. Shine Your light into the darkness of this world.  May every heart feel Your presence...Emmanuel, God With Us. Encourage us through Your Word so that "we do not lose heart."  Help us not to be blinded by the trappings of Christmas, no matter how glittery and sparkly and twinkly, and miss out on the True Light...the One that came to save a world in need.  Thank You for Jesus.  Thank You for Your great love.  Help us to be ministers of that love to those in darkness.  And bring on the dawn.


Kathy said...

"Further Still". Thanks. :)

Susan Stilwell said...

Kristi, you are ON THE MONEY with this post. This world is dark beyond belief, and it seems that every set of eyes mask some kind of hurt. You are sensitive to those needs, more than most people, and I know it's heavy on your heart. God brings those people across your path because He trusts you with their hurt AND with the His words of encouragement for them.

I read this post and couldn't help but praise the Lord we aren't left without hope! He told us that in this world we'd have trouble, but to TAKE HEART - He has overcome the world AND all it's trouble!

Sometimes, when the path is dark and lonely, the only comfort we have is that the knowledge that this world isn't all there is. And that one day He will pull back the veils and show us what He was accomplishing through all the sorrow in our lives.

It can be so hard to share that hope with those who don't know Hi, and live every day in despair.

Lord, prepare those hurting hearts to receive the message of Your Good News!

Margie Culbertson said...

Thanks Kristi!

Kristi Butler said...

Thanks for stopping by Kathy, Susan & Margie.

And Susan, thanks for your words of further encouragement. What a blessing.

Write2ignite said...

KRISTI. This is a wonderful, wonderful post. I am going to share this on my twitter and google+. Is that okay?

cara said...

Well said my friend. It's so important to remember all aspects of Christmas -- to acknowledge that it's ok to have that sadness. Thank you for the reminder that we can still be that light, through Christ.

love your powerful words my dear.

Kristi Butler said...

Thanks, Cara!

And yes, absolutely, feel free to share!

Hugs and prayers to you all!

Amy said...

I've been having some similar thoughts, but you said it so much more beautifully than I thought it. Thanks for being real with us. Love you, friend!

Kristi Butler said...

Thanks, Amy! Your words are so gracious. the face of Christ. We must keep our eyes on Him.

Love you!

Mary R said...

It's when the hurting, hurt so bad. I didn't feel like it this year and it's ok thank you God!

Thank you,

Kristi Butler said...

I'm praying for you right now.

Just this morning I read in Sarah Young's devotional book Jesus Calling these words..."As this year draws to a close, receive My Peace. This is still your deepest need, and I, your Prince of Peace, long to pour Myself into your neediness. My abundance and your neediness are a perfect match."

God knows your need and is able to meet it.