When the Most Wonderful Time of the Year is Messy
- Debbie McDaniel Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2017 25 Dec
Lights that had been carefully strung outside to make all things look festive and sparkly were already burning out, needing to be replaced. Hadn’t finished Christmas shopping and some of those “most-wanted” gifts were already sold out everywhere. Cat climbed the Christmas tree, causing it to topple over, breaking ornaments, making a huge mess. Kids were bickering, life felt like a mad rush up until Christmas, and everyone was tired. Weary. Worn.
Where was the joy in this most wonderful season that seemed to be racing too quickly by, before we could even stop to breathe and soak in beautiful moments?
The truth is – life is just tough some days. We are pulled in many directions. We get tired. We feel alone. We wonder if all that we do really matters in this big scheme of life.
And sometimes, life has taken a toll in deeper ways.
The loneliness feels immense in a season of family gatherings. Difficult relationships feel even more difficult. The loss we’re still grieving can feel even greater. The brokenness we’ve faced seems too painful in a world that says Christmas should be all merry and bright. The pressure feels insurmountable, the hurt has taken us farther down than we ever thought we’d go. It’s hard to look up and hope anymore. We might feel like we’ve lost our way, or are burdened for those we love who have wandered into difficult seasons. Shattered pieces of life can add more uncertainty to the hurt already there, right in the midst of big holiday moments all around us; like we’ve been forgotten, or too deeply wounded to really fit in with all the celebrations of the season…
The truth is this: sometimes Christmas is messy And all the days leading up to this most celebrated event, and even all the days after; because so often, life is just messy. It’s a struggle. It gets hard. And as much festive fun and family moments we can throw in there, it still doesn’t make everything OK. For we find ourselves still hurting. We’re still the same, and trying to pick up the pieces of our broken lives.
Here’s the good news, though, for any who have found themselves in similar places this season: Jesus came for all us broken people. He came right in the middle of a mess. And He came for our mess. He came to redeem and bring hope. He came for those struggling, He came for those hurting, He came for those who didn’t have it all together.
He understands what it is to be broken, for He was willing to take on the brokenness of the whole world in exchange for our freedom. If you find yourself in a hard place today, be assured that He knows your way. We're never too far gone from His reach. And He is able to redeem and restore every broken place, with His healing power and grace.
Jesus came to this earth when the skies were black. Such a deep, symbolic picture of what He came to do. Light of hope ushered straight in, against the backdrop of darkness. Shining so brightly in a world that sought to destroy His message and power.
And whatever we may walk through in this life, I’m constantly reminded of the One who holds all the broken pieces together and makes them fit again, the very One who alone is able to give purpose through all the pain, and bring great blessing through the awful mess.
The One who sent His Only Son into a messy, struggling, dark world, so that we could have a chance to be free.
Though some days seem to have lost their shine, He’s still the same, for He never changes.
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. On all the big, celebration days and on all the days in between.
May His peace and joy fill your hearts and homes more than ever before, in these days of Christmas and the New Year too. Don’t ever doubt. His heart is for you. In the times of joy, and the times of brokenness, through it all, He longs to give grace and pour out His love.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
This Christmas has felt messy and broken. We feel weary, we feel alone, and burdened. We’re heading straight into a new year and want nothing more than to erase all the hurt and pain from this past year. But we know that only in You is true healing and restoration to be found. Thank you God for sending Jesus, our hope, our peace, the very One who can breathe joy into our inner being right in the midst of huge struggle.
Thank you that you understand what it is to be broken, thank you that Jesus Himself came into a messy world, and took the brokenness of us all upon Himself so that we could live free. We know that You are for us and You fight for us today. We know that You care and that You are constantly close to the brokenhearted.
We know that You’re paving out new pathways before us and that You’re covering us from behind, redeeming, restoring, giving us fresh purpose and hope. We love You Lord, thank You that our scars will serve a purpose, because You won’t ever waste our pain. We look to you today, and every day.
In Jesus’ Name,
Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/ManuelFabaOrtega