by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro copyright 2020
Oct 22 to Jan 6 reflections from an upcoming book for tending hurting hearts at Christmas
There are feelings you may have during these holy-days which society may seem to assert are invalid or have no place in this season of “love”. Yet you have a right to those feelings. Christmas may not be what you had hoped, expected or what it used to be. It is okay to hurt. It is real. The truth. Be brave enough to admit where you are. It is okay that your inner pain, sense of lack, sorrow and emptiness simply are right now.
Additionally, let’s not pretend your pain is heaven-sent. It is from hell. In heaven this won’t happen anymore. God knows. He understands. Remember, hell took Him to the cross.
There are no adequate words for the suffering, injustice and seeming defeat Jesus suffered. Horror. Agony. Real. Never to be made right. But God was there. In the midst. Through it. He used what the enemy meant for evil (and which was evil) for His greater, overriding purpose of good, long effects which last (forever). He brought redemption through it for all of us. Opportunity for everlasting reconciled relationship with Him. Eternal victory. Freedom for all beginning now. This exquisitely priceless outcome wrought through pain.
This means also: God with you. Emmanuel! It is the meaning of His name. Emmanuel! God with you when it does not make sense. Especially now. In the midst.
This is fact. It is also your beginning point. God wants to use this difficult, unwished-for time to do something beautiful in you. The hard blessing during such times is that all the exterior fluff which Christmas may have included is scraped away. Ouch! If you will dare to sense and see (which takes great courage) and let God lead and show you, you will find true balm for your soul. And hope. Through what Christmas was meant to be.
To help prepare your heart, remind yourself to drop all comparisons. You are not like anyone else. What you need to hear and know is different. In the austerity of now is this opportunity which you probably did not want. Use it. Go quiet within. Push out the noise from the culture around you and let Him lead you into how He wants to bring you through this season into greater richness and abundance. This is not in the absence or denial of pain, but through it. In the midst, with nothing ignored.
So, like the Wise Men who followed the star believing it was a sign He had come, it is your turn now to effortfully seek Him. You come with an inquiring heart, focused on Him. On God. Of course, not wholly because you can never grasp His fullness. But with relentless intent. With every moment you choose to fill the unwanted seasonal voids with a turning of your thoughts to Him, how He welcomes you! He delights in what He has for you in this time together.
What is one thing you can do toward creating space in your heart for more of God this season? How will you cultivate more God-oriented inner quiet time so you can hear Him?
Holy Spirit come now and into that which used to be Christmas cheer, bring Your truth and eventual true, abiding, essential joy.
1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men [astrologers] from the east came to Jerusalem, asking,
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