Feeling a little stressed by the holiday season upon us?
Plenty of us struggle through the Christmas holidays, be in life transitions, or loss of loved ones, or just relationships, family or otherwise, that are less than ideal. Everyone has people in their lives that are to be loved despite certain attributes. After all the Lord loves us despite our own attributes than are less than ideal.
"All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23
The World's standards for holidays are much harder to reach with nothing less than perfection set for the gauge: perfect families, perfect Christmas trees, perfect meals, perfect cookies, perfect presents. Hello according to the Christmas commercials isn't every woman entitled to a 'perfect' diamond delivered by the 'perfect' man during a 'perfectly' falling snow storm while the 'perfect' soundtrack beams from some unknown source. If one lives in a tropical climate, I guess the 'perfect' Christmas fantasy is out of reach unless one is allowed to substitute 'sand' for snow, but it doesn't quite work does it?
Holiday dreams are alway incomplete. We've all made the wonky cookies that taste great, but resemble nothing recognizable. Melt downs have happened over the hill and dale to grandmother's house. Diamonds aren't a dime a dozen when one is on a budget and worried about gifts and paying the electric bill in the same thought. Not everyone is included in Christmas parties, or if you are there are those Christmases when there is more 'drama' at the party than eggnog.
Also the older you get,...there is someone always missing from the festivities, some living, some departed, and with our busy lives it can all get a little wearying - the cards, the cakes, the cookies, the over crowded schedule, or the schedule that isn't over crowded, the presents: are they enough, good enough, did you forget anyone? It's stressful,...by design,...I vow.
Hello, but we're never, ever, ever, EVER,...going to satisfy the World's holiday expectations. It's impossible, again by design, I vow,...there is nothing that delights the 'other side' than those the Lord loves to be stressed and depressed for the holidays.
You know the word holiday is an Old English compounding of the words 'holy' and 'day' - holiday, thus Happy Holidays are really to be translated Happy Holy Days. Holy as in sacred, to be set apart for worship, and only the LORD is worthy of worship. Such celebrations are never incomplete.
"For God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:8
Still sinners, not perfect people, but for sinners the babe was born in Bethlehem, the babe destined for Calvary, "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
It's all about perspective,...isn't it?
The World wants to drive you crazy during the holidays, but God wants to give you peace, the peace of God that transcends all understanding.
Seeing that we live in a fallen world, holiday craziness isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Perfection is out of our reach, but perfect love is not: God's love for us, and our love for others, "Above all love one another deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8
Holidays aren't about glitzy perfection,...they are Holy Days,...set aside to worship the birth of Jesus Christ,...the way, the truth and the life.
From our family to yours Merry Christmas,...may God bless and keep you during this holiday season, and may these holidays,...be Holy Days for you and your family!