When it hit me that my family would not be with Mom for Christmas, I was devastated. Due to Covid, we are quarantining. It is also the first time in my life that I will not be at church for Christmas Eve. I was really down today. While I get to see Mom on Sunday, I think of all those who wish they could see their loved one again. I feel that way about dad BUT I am so glad God understands our hurts. And He knows that it is our hurt and He hears our cries.
As I was going through my Christmas cards today, one just hit me. It said what many of our cards say but I knew God was speaking to me. The front read, "Christmas Blessings" and the inside read, "This Christmas may you be blessed with the joy of His presence and the quiet peace of the season." It brought me so much peace and then I thought about how that person was nudged to pick out that card, send our family one and it get here on the day I needed it. That is how amazing God is! He knew what I would be going through and that He could bring me comfort through a card.
Immediately, the "joy of His presence" was with me. I knew that regardless of my circumstance and lack of happiness that I am so grateful that I have joy and feel God's presence! I have written so much these two weeks about people hurting at Christmas. A lot of people are suffering. Romans 5: 3-4, "Not only so, but we[a] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;4 perseverance, character; and character, hope."
As I often say, I am not going to waste this lesson. I know God is showing me what I need. And like much of 2020, it seems to be trust. Yes, this will be a "quiet" Christmas but I am finding the "quiet peace of the season". As I often say, I am so thankful to have God in my life! In Romans we see the difference in the lives of believers and nonbelievers. Romans 1: 18-21, "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse." Then we are told in Romans 5: 1-5, "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."
Philippians 4: 4-7, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." So how can I have peace and joy this Christmas when my heart is breaking? Focus on God. His Word says do not worry about anything. That means this situation. Pray about everything which I have done. I am now just thanking Him for whatever He is teaching Mom and us. I am thanking Him and telling Him, "I trust You, God, for however You answer this prayer! You always have the best way! While Mom and I will not be together, we will both have the presence of God with us and I am forever grateful for that peace! Father, I rejoice in You, always and in all ways!