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When Christmas Is Hard

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

—John 1:14
Nativity Savior Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! But what do you do if it isn’t for you? Maybe today you’re having a hard time getting into the holiday spirit. Perhaps you’ve recently lost a loved one and your heart is broken as you try to wrap your mind around how to celebrate in the midst of such pain. Some of you may be struggling to make ends meet right now, and the expectations and demands of those around you are nearly suffocating. You want to make everyone’s dreams come true, but you’re only human, and you’re doing your best just to provide their most basic needs. Whatever you’re going through, let me remind you of this: Christmas is about one thing, and one thing only: Jesus Christ—His birth, life, death, and resurrection.

You may be thinking, “Yes, of course . . . and that’s great! But it still doesn’t lessen my pain or remove my stress.” That’s totally valid, and you’re absolutely allowed to feel that way from time to time. Here’s where I’m getting at with this, though: The Word became flesh. That is, Jesus, our heavenly Father, became man so He could not only save us and bridge the gap between us and God, but also to be able to identify with us. He was 100% God and 100% man. He knew a deeper pain here on earth than any of us will ever know. There were times in His life when celebrating was probably really, really tough. He didn’t have the perfect circumstances, not even close, but He still lived a perfect life. Why? So we could lean on Him when we walk through trials in this life, too.

He knows how it feels to grieve the loss of a loved one. He has experienced the pain of being taken advantage of—people were always looking to get things from Jesus, without wanting to give anything back in return. He isn’t some distant God that is unfamiliar with our pain. He bore the weight of the world on the cross so we wouldn’t have to carry it upon our own backs.

Cast your cares upon Him this holiday season. He sees you. He knows you. He’s holding you. When it’s hard to rejoice, when it’s hard to even show up in the day-to-day festivities, remember what this season is all about: redemption, hope, and restoration. He gave all He had; give that back to Him today—even if the only thing you have to offer is a broken heart. He will make it whole again. His presence will be your greatest present this year. Don’t pass it up. Unwrap it. Celebrate Him. Cling to Him.

Hope this Christmas

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