Melancholy or Merry?
Today is the Eve of Christmas Eve 2017.
As Tom and I were out and about yesterday preparing for our Christmas celebration, we decided to stop for breakfast. As we were leaving, I noticed a sweet family all seated around one of the tables. Grandparents, parents, and two little girls. These precious little girls in their adorable Christmas dresses captured my attention and stirred emotions in my heart.
This morning, as I sit here in the early morning hours, I hear the wind. It's pretty intense today and so in the rustling of the leaves and the ringing of chimes my heart continues to be stirred because the wind sends my mind back to some 30+ year ago...
It was a windy day in November when the shattered dream of motherhood sent me into a state of despair. I remember lying on the floor begging God to let me hear His voice in the wind. I tried to speak His Word into my broken soul, but all I could muster up was a mix of Psalm 23 and the Lord's prayer. I was desperate for His presence. Sure, I needed and wanted answers too, but that searching would come later. At that moment, I just needed the comfort that I knew only He could bring.
So, this Christmas I have had moments of missing the children we never had. I've also had moments of missing my parents and Tom's mom.
My mind seems to be wandering to melancholy moments this Christmas. Sometimes you just never know when they will show up but the holidays can sure be a trigger for melancholy moments. Merry Christmas! For Christmas should be filled with family, fun, laughter, presents and all things merry. Surely that's the picture and expectation most of us have for Christmas. Maybe that's why Christmas can also remind us of all the things that aren't so merry in our Christmas. I mean, what's so merry about Christmas when you are...
- Mourning the loss of someone you love?
- Watching someone suffer and perhaps die?
- Newly divorced or headed there?
- Struggling with broken relationships?
- Unable to make ends meet?
- Longing for...
Melancholy Christmas better describes the mood for it is very difficult to find merry in these moments.
No, the merry in Christmas will not be found in our melancholy moments but in that moment all those years ago when God left His throne in heaven, confined Himself in a human body, and born a baby laid in a manger. Taking my mind back to that moment, I can find merry. God with us. God for us. As a believer in Jesus, God in us.
It's a moment of wonder. Let our minds wander there for...
He sees, He knows, and He cares. That's why He came for us. He collects our tears in His bottle, and He takes account of our wanderings. He works all things for good for those who love Him. He restores and heals our broken hearts. He gives us hope and peace in the midst of our despair, and He allows us to find Him when we seek for Him and to know Him in personal and intimate ways. He redeems us with His very own blood, He offers forgiveness and eternal life, and He prays for us even now. He is always with us and knows everything about us - when we go and come, what we are going to say even before we say it, and He's ordained all the days of our lives before there was yet one of them. He wants to have a real and authentic personal relationship with each and every one of us right here and now and for all of eternity.
Coming for us all those years ago, He came to give us Himself so that we would never be alone or have to face alone and without hope our mourning, suffering, devastation, brokenness - all the pain and hurts of living life in this world. He knows we are desperate for Him even if we don't realize how desperate we are for Him. He is our only hope for He is the hope of the world.
In your melancholy moments, preach the good and merry news to your soul. Immanuel - God with us! Then take it one step further and share tidings of God's comfort and joy with others so they can find the merry this Christmas in their melancholy moments. "Let nothing you dismay, remember, Christ, our Savior..."
"God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Savior
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy.
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy"
May you find your merry Christmas in the comfort and joy found in Jesus. Then, go tell it on a mountain - Jesus Christ is born.
As you minister truth to your melancholy heart, I pray your soul will find it’s Merry Christmas! Bless you.