The woman’s hands shook gently as she hung the last ornament on the tree, eyes shining with unshed tears as she gently traced the face of her deceased husband through the glass of the ornament.
Just down the street stood a father outside his son’s bedroom door, begging him to let him in so he can keep him from hurting himself again.
On the other side of town, there is a teenager staring at herself in the mirror with self-contempt, wondering how she’ll make it through another day.
This is just a small portion of the heartache many are facing this Christmas, and maybe you are one of them. Maybe this Christmas season, you are broken, weary, and full of heartache so painful you can barely stand it. Maybe you recently lost a family member and can’t think of the holidays without them—maybe Christmas is just a painful reminder that your life is not what is portrayed as “Christmas perfect” on TV.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)
Even more so, He endured it victorious.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1–2)
For those of you who can’t see it, there is still living hope!
John Piper states in his book, When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy:
“It is utterly crucial that in our darkness we affirm the wise, strong hand of God to hold us, even when we have no strength to hold him. This is the way Paul thought of his own strivings. He said, ‘Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own’ (Philippians 3:12).”
Jesus understands. Jesus is victorious. He sees all your hurt, your pain, and He is wiping away every tear you cry. There are no words that I can say to those of you wrestling with life this season, but one thing I can say is that Jesus is the answer to your pain–turn to him. The sadness you feel is real and I hope that during the days ahead, you find peace and rest in Him.
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)