Last Saturday was a very sweet day for our family. It wasn’t really anything extraordinary but I found such joy in the ordinary. Watching Sam score at his basketball game while cheering and giggling with friends. Wrapping presents and listening to Christmas music. Drinking Starbucks coffee and filling my grocery cart with items to make Christmas treats. Hanging out with my kiddos and watching The Polar Express. It was a good day…a day for my highlight reel. A day that I just knew I wanted to share with my Facebook friends.
Then I realized that most of what I share on Facebook is just that a highlight reel. I like it that way to be honest… I’m not one to share my pain, frustration, anger, disappointments or fears for the whole world to see. But today I felt like someone needed to know that they are not alone. In a season where it seems that everyone is in love, dressing up children for beautiful pictures, sharing meals and gifts with friends and living it up it can leave you feeling alone, empty and sad.
This year has been interesting…interesting is code for hard, disappointing and frustrating. I have seen dear friends suffer through nasty divorces. Tim preached the funeral of a former co-worker and friend who won’t ever see her daughter walk down the aisle or hold her grandchildren. We have watched friends and family members suffer with anxiety and depression to the point that they felt like they didn’t want to live any longer. We have begged God to move in situations and He has remained silent. We have had people betray us and break our hearts for reasons that remain unknown. I have anger and unforgiveness in my heart that I can’t seem to let go. When I read about the persecution of my brothers and sisters in Christ around the world I can barely breath and I feel completely helpless. I’ve read the Facebook posts of friends calling black people animals and thugs and seen our country being torn apart by violence. I have wept over all these things. So friend if you feel heavy during this season of joy, hope and peace I understand.
But…there is a HUGE “but” in this whole situation and it is the love of Jesus. He came as a sweet baby to a young, virgin girl. Born in a barn without any fanfare. Just his mom and dad and, what I can only imagine, a sweaty, scary, uncertain mess. You know kind of like real everyday life. I’m holding on to the promise and hope that came with that baby. On my messiest days I’m holding on to that hope.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” ~ John 3:16-17 NIV