Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
I absolutely love this time of year and yet I find that if we aren’t careful we can hustle and bustle our way right through the holidays and then wonder how we find ourselves in the middle of January.
This is supposed to be a time to remember the Love of God for us and how He cared enough to send His son Jesus to live and love and die for our sins. We are supposed to be celebrating His birth, but if we aren’t careful we leave Him out of the entire celebration as we lose ourselves in the process instead of the celebration! Slow down, and take the time to reflect on why you are doing what you are doing. Make sure that you are remembering Who and why you are celebrating! Show God’s love to those around you! Have fun! Everything doesn’t have to be “perfect”! At the end of the day, what will be the most important thing you can do that will have a lasting impact? What will you look back on and smile about when you get to the “middle of January”, knowing that, “that reflected the true meaning of Christmas”?
Maybe this year, this time of year isn’t a Joy to you, maybe you have suffered a great loss and this is more of a dread than something you are looking forward to! I remember that first Christmas after my divorce when my kids were little and I sat down in the living room to wrap presents for my children as they were sleeping upstairs and I sat down and just sobbed! I knew my kids were going to love all the gifts and we were going to have a great time celebrating, but I also had the overwhelming sense that all of the dreams I had for my marriage were gone and I was ‘alone’! I remember also the year my Dad died just before Christmas, his funeral was on the 22nd of December, and my kids and I couldn’t bear the thought of celebrating anything! My Dad was like a Papa and a Dad to my kids and I was His little Princess and he was gone and once again, I was ‘alone’, even more alone than the other Christmas. It took us years after his death to celebrate Christmas, I couldn’t even bring myself to get a tree. It was a rough season of life to face, but what I fully realize now is the fact that I wasn’t really alone. I felt alone, but God was always there! The one we were celebrating was always there! He cared and He loved us but I allowed my pain to close myself off from recognizing that! If you are suffering your way through this holiday season, I would like to encourage you to not shut yourself off from all that He has for you! Allow Him to be there for you and to comfort you. Allow Him to heal your wounded and broken heart! Allow Him to wrap His love around you like a nice fuzzy warm blanket on a cold Winter day! Allow Him to be real to you this Christmas! That doesn’t mean that the loss isn’t still there and very real and it doesn’t mean that you have to necessarily celebrate the way you would normally, but don’t miss out on it completely, embrace who He is and His love for you.
No matter where you are this holiday season, I would like to encourage you to let your light shine! Remind yourself of Who you are celebrating! Allow His love to shine through you so others can see Him! Focus on Him and honor Him as you celebrate so all you do will have a lasting impact and will draw others to Him!
“There is a time to let things happen and a time to make things happen.” Hugh Prather