Repost: The Miracle of Christmas is God in the Normal

1 Comment December 28, 2011 in Christian Life and Teen Girls

Christmas is not always happiness and everything lovely. Real life happens. Real life hurts. Here’s a message of hope for when your Christmas looked nothing like a Hallmark Holiday.

In the last week we mourned the passing of my Grandmother – the last of my grandparents to pass from this life to the next.

At the same time we were spending time with friends, preparing for Christmas and celebrating the life we have through Christ.

Such mixed emotions and roller-coaster moments. Tears and laughter. Celebration and mourning. All in the same day, same week, same heart.

Christmas hospital visitation in Lebanon, photo courtesy of The Naji Cherfan Foundation

I am aware that this Christmas season a young mom passed away leaving young children; an elderly grandfather passed away to join his wife who went on to eternity just six months ago; and a mother came home with a diagnosis that means this will have been her last Christmas with her family. Just because it’s Christmas does not mean that real life and pain stop.

The rough spots don’t get smooth, the pain still hurts, the grief continues, the loneliness intensifies and the disappointments of life are magnified. Such is the reality of the Christmas season.

Our oldest son said to me on Christmas Eve – his birthday: “Mom, it just doesn’t seem like Christmas. I’m excited and everything, but it just seems so … normal.”

It made my heart sad to know that my twelve year old is beginning to lose the magic of the season and carry the burdens of the day instead. It made me want to go back to last year, to hang on just a little longer to the joy and free-spirited excitement that comes with innocent youth. It also made me ponder in my heart all the things my son has already endured – and if by the grace of God he lives to be old, how much more he will see.

Christmas Day is over. The gifts are unwrapped. The food has been eaten and the relatives have been visited.

The one thing that is not over is the Miracle. The Miracle of Christmas.

The Miracle of Christmas is that Jesus came to earth, to the pain, to the suffering, to the lonely, to the disappointed. He didn’t come just to be our hero but to live with us, laugh with us, cry with us, and die with and for us. He came to be Emmanuel – “God with us” – right here in the middle of what we call normal.

O Jacob, how can you say the LORD does not see your troubles?
O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?
Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:27-31 (NLT)

Is this passage for you today? Has your Christmas been an emotional roller coaster? Did the heaviness of ‘normal’ overshadow the celebration of hope?

Then read this scripture again. This time use your name instead of ‘Jacob’ or ‘Israel’.

This is the God we celebrate this week. This is the God we live for today. This is the God we cling to when normal life happens. This is the God we trust in no matter what. This is the God who gives us hope.

Reposted from Dec. 28, 2008

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