“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest.” (Luke 2:13-14)
It’s Christmas time, and your heart should be cheerful and bright. But it isn’t. Not this year. Not when the load you bear is making your heart race and your mind fatigued with the figuring-out of things that lie beyond your grasp or resolution.
It’s Christmas time, and it seems everyone else is making their way merrily. But you aren’t. You are clambering a mountain of doubt, of aches, of sadness. You are schlepping through the sludge, and your feet keep getting stuck in muddy wastelands deep. Your heart feels the strain of the ascent and your chest is as tight as the drummer boy’s instrument in hand.
It’s Christmas time, and carols fill the nighttime air as choirs sing in harmony out there somewhere. But you can’t. The lyrics clog your throat like a lump of coal and heaviness is the only sound ricocheting off your cramped, suffocating, four walls.
What now? How to make it through? What to lean on when wobbly foundations buckle beneath your feet and ceilings sag precariously above?
Look ahead. Keep your mind firmly fixed on the manger’s child and his reason for entering our world. Listen again to the angel’s newscast delivered in the midnight sky. “Fear not, for behold I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:10).
Smack dab in the middle of the shepherd’s night shift is the message we long for as well. Don’t fear what is unknown or makes little sense. Don’t fear what is unfolding or crashing around the corner. The good news of Jesus is yours for the taking. The Christ Child “wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger,” (Luke 2:12) was born as Savior of the world, for the very world you find yourself in now.
He walked the earth and made his way to a cross to deliver us from the heaviness trapped inside our hearts – that ache, that regret, that sense of overwhelming failure. The “Savior, who is Christ the Lord,” came to save us from the despair and darkness that has settled within.
It’s Christmas. Let’s hold onto him. Let Christ wrestle that struggle, pin it to the ground, and carry you through this season in his perfect loving arms.
Elizabeth A Mitchell
Photo Credit: David Bartus