Christmas is coming. The song tells us, “It is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” But sometimes we don’t feel like it is. Life is a struggle as we continue to go through this pandemic. Many of us have experienced or know someone who has experienced a loss in some form. Maybe you have lost your job, your home, or worse, someone you love. It is understandable to feel sad and overwhelmed. I understand if you are feeling anything but wonderful because I have my own moments. I don’t blame you for wanting to close the door and pull the blinds and shut out the world.
Grief is Hard
It is difficult to feel happy when your heart is breaking into a million tiny pieces. There isn’t a magical date when you get over or through a loss, because grief is a necessary process. Some losses are much harder to maneuver through than others. In the loss of loved ones, it is learning to live with the memories and allowing yourself to move forward by living in the present. Memories are God’s way of healing our hearts. The truth is, not every memory we hold is perfect, filling you with warm fuzzies. Some memories bring angst, deep regret, and sadness. Other memories bring great joy that leaves you longing for the past. The bottom line is grief is never easy.
Jesus Knows All About Grief
Some days are more challenging to process than others. Some days, you feel like you can’t carry the weight of your sorrow. Grief can be suffocating, isolating, and pain-crushing. No one can tell you how long to grieve. Grieving is an individual process, and every journey is different. Take your time, and let the tears fall. Tears are healing, and when you think you can’t cry anymore, they appear out of nowhere. But rest assured that Jesus sees every tear and captures them on your behalf. Jesus knows what grief is all about too.Three ways to find hope for the grieving… Click To Tweet
The Hope of Christmas
Yes, Christmas is about the birth of Jesus. However, it is about more than His birth. Christmas is about the hope of Christ. The sweet baby born that night was bringing hope into the world for all of us. He brought the hope and the promise that our grief and sorrow are temporary.
Paul reminds us of this truth in the second Book of Corinthians!
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.2 Corinthians 4:16-20
While Jesus was on the earth, He experienced grief too. He lost family, friends, his home, and his own life. It wasn’t an easy road that Jesus walked, either. So, how do we move forward? By His example. We focus on and remember the hope of Christ.
One of the last few things that Jesus said on the cross was:
Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.Luke 23:34
Change Your Focus
Jesus took the focus off from Himself and onto the Father for each of us. He knew His grief was temporary, but it didn’t make it any less painful or real. Jesus wasn’t just talking about the Roman soldiers who had placed Him on the cross that day. He was talking about you and me. Yes, grief is complicated, but if Jesus could bear the suffering of the present circumstances and focus on the eternal, we can too with His help.
It is easy to focus on what we don’t have rather than what we do have. It doesn’t mean we can’t grieve for what was lost, but by changing the focus outward instead of dwelling inward on ourselves, our hearts are opened to healing and believing in the hope of Christ once again.
Redemption for Humanity Begins with a Baby
There are things in life we can’t change no matter how hard we try. But, it doesn’t mean things can’t get better. The birth of a tiny baby boy would fulfill the prophecy of redemption for all humanity. His redemption would bring true joy to the world and a peace that surpasses all understanding.Candid Gal Sheila Schweiger-Rhodes shares how to find hope when you're grieving during the holidays Click To Tweet
Don’t Forget About It
This Christmas, let’s remember why it is the most wonderful time of the year. Here are some ways I found helpful to get through this season and find joy during a difficult time.
Pray About It
Do the same thing that Jesus did in His grief. Pray to the Father! You don’t have to have all the words because your Father knows your heart. Tell Him what you need. I can promise you He won’t leave you stranded. My first Christmas without my mom was hard, but the more I talked to Jesus about my grief, the more peace He gave me.
Talk About It
It is okay to talk about your loss. Whatever type of loss you are grieving, be honest with how you are feeling. Many times, people will avoid the subject because they don’t want to cause you pain. However, dodging the issue makes it worse. Be honest and share your thoughts. You may find someone else needs to talk about their grief as much as you need to talk about yours. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are some great counselors equipped to help you through a difficult time. A counseling session is an excellent gift for yourself.
Write About It
You don’t have to be a writer to place your thoughts on paper. Writing is an expression of thinking, doing, and seeing it visually in front of you. It is about embracing the memories. Yes, there are some things you might not want to remember, but studies have shown the more senses you use, the better when working through difficulties. I found writing out scriptures on paper reminds me of who Jesus is to me was very helpful and healing. Here are some of my favorites: Deuteronomy 31:8, Psalm 9:9-10, Psalm 30:5, and Psalm 34:18-19.
We Have Hope
Life will never be perfect here on this earth because of sin, but Jesus made it wonderful. Everything that has caused us grief on this earth will one day be gone. But, despite our temporary sorrows and difficulties, we have the hope and future of a better life. What we couldn’t do for ourselves, Jesus did for us. This reminder is why it truly is the most wonderful time of the year.
No More Grief
He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.Revelation 21:4
Christmas doesn’t have to feel wonderful to be wonderful. It is wonderful because of who Jesus is and what He did for each of us. Sometimes I have to remind myself this is the only heaven the enemy is ever going to get. Soon his tricks, schemes, and power-play will be done, and grief will be no more. Our tears from our hurts will be wiped away, and our suffering, sorrow, and pain from a world gone crazy will be eliminated and forgotten.
The Most Wonderful Name
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders.Isaiah 9:6
And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Merry Christmas! May this Christmas be your most wonderful time of the year as you remember where true peace, love, and hope reside. Hope resides in our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father who is our Prince of Peace.
Shopping, presents, and gatherings, oh my. The holiday season bursts at the seams with all the hustle and bustle, but it’s never too busy for Jesus. Take a step back this year and spend a few moments with your Savoir each day in Christmas with Jesus. This short devotional contains 25 devotions for December from various authors who love Jesus just as much as you do.