WHEN THE TINSEL COMES DOWN
And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:5, NIV.
A friend was telling me of time at Christmas as a child when she was most disappointed. She explained how she was longing for a particular gift, for which she had asked her parents. When Christmas morning arrived, and all of the presents under the tree had been opened, the gift was nowhere to be found! Now, many years later, she is still able to recall the incident with vivid detail and refreshed disappointment.
Each year, with the help of commercialization, the announcement of the approaching Christmas season starts weeks well before Thanksgiving. Along with the announcement begins a flurry of excitement generated by the hope that fills every young heart. Today, my grandchildren LOVE Christmas, along with all of the “fixings” that our world has to offer and deems necessary for a successful event. In many households when the presents have all been opened, even when every wish has been fulfilled, a sense of sadness and emptiness replaces the excitement. I remember feeling the same way too not only as a child but well into my adult years! Some people dread Christmastime because it reminds them of loss or unmet expectations. For them, depression is more prevalent as it feels to them that they are the only one in the whole world not looking forward to this time of celebration.
So, what is going on that causes this emotional roller coaster ride that happens every year with unfailing regularity? While I do not claim to be an expert in emotional and mental trauma, I would like to offer what might be a reasonable explanation from a Biblical perspective.
“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!” At least this is what one favorite holiday song tells us, but what does that mean? What does Christmas “look like?” The answer may vary considerably! When you and I rely on our senses and feelings as our barometer for happiness and joy, then we become pawns in the hype that feeds them. Friend, God, created us to have senses and feelings but not as the means to dictate where the foundation of our hope lies. Jesus is so much more than “The Reason for the season!!” If you are willing, enjoy the special music, lights, and presents; times of fellowship, food, and frolic that accompany the fanfare of the season. But regardless of how you are feeling, plant your hope in the Knowledge of Truth Who lives “within us,” through the Everlasting Gift of The Holy Spirit. He is not a feeling. He is The Person of Jesus Christ, Son of God, Immanuel, God with us every day of our lives not simply at Christmas. Jesus wants to be The Rock upon which we build our very Foundation. Because of Jesus, hope is not only possible; it is a certainty!
Jesus is not seasonal. Jesus is perennial!!
Father, help me keep my mind grounded in The Truth of Your Word, so that when all of the tinsel and dust from the celebration settles, my Security will remain unshaken. AMEN