“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NASB)
As I have been preparing for Christmas, I have been filled with conflicting emotions. I praise God that my health is better than it has been in quite awhile, and I am blessed with the anticipation of sharing this holiday with loved ones.
Yet at the same time, my heart is heavy for many of those I know who are suffering, and this Christmas seems to be one of the most difficult. Life is full of struggles for people I know – grief over the death of loved ones, hurt from broken relationships, loneliness due to separation from family over the holidays, and discouragement with physical limitations during the season’s activities.
There have been moments when I have wondered how I can possibly be joyful and peaceful when this world is so full of pain, yet I also realized that if the world were not hurting, there would be no need for a Savior. I reflected on that first Christmas. That time was far from peaceful and pleasant. Roman rule was oppressive and life was a struggle to endure. Mary and Joseph faced ostracism, pain, homelessness, and separation from family. Those who anticipated the birth of the Messiah were expecting to see a conquering king, which was not the case.
Yet we on the other side of the cross know the significance of that first Advent, and because of it, we anticipate the second one. With the second coming, all pain, suffering and disappointment will end. We will truly be able to rejoice without sorrow, and perhaps my joy this year will be more in anticipation of Christ’s future coming than in His past one.
Whatever we are facing this Christmas, may we remember the victory and eternal life that Christ’s birth and subsequent death and resurrection bring. May that knowledge bring us peace, and may we rejoice. “I say again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bronlynn Spindler is a wife and mother of three grown daughters and lives in Fredericksburg, VA. God’s grace and strength give her the ability to deal with chronic back pain, depression, headaches, and fibromyalgia. You may view her blog of devotionals at http://www.aplaceofsprings57.blogspot.com and contact her at spindler@….