This season can be so hard for many people. Instead of the presence of more joy, people may feel in greater magnitude the absence of someone they love, happiness and peace. Loneliness is highlighted by the large amount of family time and vacation and hearts can feel so broken and left out.
Christmas is a time that we pause, listen, reflect and savor the reality of Immanuel God with us. How God in our lonely, broken state didn’t want us to carry the weight of sin and this world on our own. He sent Jesus, to take sins punishment for us, overcome death and make a way for life abundantly, to carry our burdens and carry us through what each day brings. Christmas brings the reality that we are never alone no matter how lonely we may feel, He came so that He would be with us.
I know the feeling of a quiet and lonely house on Christmas Eve putting gifts in the stockings by myself while big tears flowed down my cheeks and remembering what was the year before and grieving what was no longer. I remember doing Christmas with my babies alone by our Christmas tree as I had gotten up throughout the night alone with a newborn and feeling the magnitude of life without their daddy and my husband.
But I also remember the overwhelming presence of Jesus filling our home in the midst of the pain and God truly was with us, He saw the hurt and He came to care for our hearts. We looked for Him, asking Him to be near and He wasn’t just a king who came as a baby in a manager He was the Prince of Peace who dwelled in our home even though the circumstances were difficult. I remember hearing a Christmas song that said Immanuel God with us and telling Jesus I finally understand why that is One of the greatest names to be called, it’s one of the greatest comforts and securities, He is here with us.
In the dark of the night when everyone else is asleep and your heart won’t let you rest, when your face is smiling and yet there is sadness greater than anyone could ever know behind it, when your wishing you had a hand to hold in the cold, when you wish you could just hold your baby just one more time, when you wish you could make her favorite apple pie for her and see her smile and hear her laugh one more time, to hear him singing Christmas carols again, to have a united family once again; Jesus is here with you in all of it. All the pain surrendered, let Him enter and be enough this Christmas.