Saturday, December 17, 2011

Walk On!

Christmas is a joyous (the most joyous) time of the year.  This is the time of the year when we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  As Christians we take a very special joy in singing hymns and Christmas songs, and doing nice things for people we don't even know.  But sometimes even we feel down.  Sometimes hope has been stolen from our hearts.

This year there are many of us who can't afford even a small gift for the one we love.  You may not be able to pay the rent next month, the children are sick, your spouse may be thousands of miles away fighting a war, or someone you love may be incarcerated.  You may be in a relationship that has gone wrong somehow without you even noticing until it was too late.  Maybe you can't afford to fly home to see someone you love who may be sick, and this may be your last chance to see them before they die.  Maybe you just put down your loving dog or cat, and you can't imagine coming home everyday and not having them waiting with tail wagging.  Is your heart heavy and you cry alone, thinking nobody would care anyway, and if they did, what could they do about it? 

Sometimes the hardest thing in the world to do is to make ourselves feel happy.  Sometimes we hide the hurt and the pain we carry around because as a Christian, aren't we always supposed to feel happy and carefree because we have a God who loves us?  Well, yes, we should take great joy in knowing that God will never (and I mean never) leave us nor forsake us.  How do I know that?  He says so.  Again and again in the Bible.  He loves us.  But sometimes our natural man overwhelms us, and this time of year seems to be a time when that happens most. 

So we cry and we ache and we long for someone to put their arms around us and give us hope.  We cry into the pillow, and we hope the shower washes our tears away.  We have never felt so alone, so lost, so empty. 

Sometimes we really need the cleansing of crying.  When Jesus' friend Lazarus died, Jesus wept.  It hurt Him to lose His friend.  We have all lost someone, whether through death or through broken relationships.  Even divorce is a death of dreams and hopes.  The two who were one are now separate, and there is a void where once there was completeness.  And when someone we love dies, we are lost for awhile without them.  Who do we call on that date when they were born or married?  Who do we go to in our times of need?  Who do we share our dreams and successes with?  Who will fill that void? Where is that loving embrace?

My dear Reader, it is still there.  Although it may not be in the arms of your mother, father, child, husband, wife, sister or brother, or from cuddling the greatest pet in the world, the best embrace comes from the One that died for you.  You CAN feel His embrace, if you just sit back and rest in His peace.  You may not be able to find that peace until you have wept ten thousand tears, but eventually, like a baby, you cry it out.  This is not to say that you won't cry again tomorrow, but for now, the retching of your sobs has worn you out.  That's not when you're the weakest, you know, that is when you are the most open.  That is when you are ready to listen, to hear the truth--that you are not alone, not at that minute or at any other time in your life.

Although there may be no one around you that you can smile at or touch, there is our Jesus, who is with you every single minute of the day and night.  He is right there, you are resting in His embrace.  He is breathing life into you!  Don't give up!  On the contrary, take hold of the hand He offers and draw near to Him!  He will carry you when you can't go on, but He will also lift you up on wings like eagles, He will give you strength, and He will show you the peace that surpasses all understanding.  Today may seem dark and your heart may be filled with despair, but have hope!  Jesus awaits!  He will kiss your face and place His arms around you.  He will never, ever, go away and leave you alone. 

So take hope, have faith, and walk on!  God bless you, dear Reader.  Give Him a chance today!  Let Christmas become a beautiful time of the year again.  Look at it with hope once again!

"When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don't be afraid of the dark

At the end of the storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of the lark

Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on walk on with hope in your heart
And you'll never walk alone
You'll never walk alone"
-Rogers and Hammerstein

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