written by Pastor Christine Martin
Christmas is here! The focus is always on the joy, the laughter, the gifts, the fun and the memories made together. But what about the pain that we feel so often, deep inside? What about the secret suffering that no one understands, that just doesn't seem to fit with Christmas? But oh, my friend, it does. While Jesus was born and was perfectly held in the safety of God’s amazing plan of salvation for us, he was also surrounded with suffering from the moment of his birth.
"Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men." (ESV)
What about all those mammas who lost their babies?
The angels announced Jesus birth in this way, Luke 2:13–14 (ESV) "And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,  “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
Where was the peace for the mother whose cradle was empty? Whose house was too quiet? What about her peace?
We know there is a future hope for us. Thought the salvation we have the hope of heaven set before us.
"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (ESV)
What a wonderful day that will be when we will stand in heaven and all our tears are over. All of the pain, morning, suffering, abuse, injustice and shame is over.
But that day is not today. Today we still sit here in the pain and grief. Paul dealt with his own hardships and pain. He prays and God answers him in this way:
2 Corinthians 12:9–10
"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (ESV)
Living with lost and grief is horrible, but you are not alone. God’s power is available to you. You are not alone and Jesus understands you. He was “acquainted with grief” (Is. 53:3) He was betrayed by a close friend (John 18:2). He wept over the death of dear friend (John 11:35).
This Christmas season may be full of laughter or full of tears or somewhere in-between. Dear friend, please hear my heart: if you soul is heavy in this moment, know the power of Christ is available to you. Like Paul let's not deny, distance or fall into despair because of our pain; rather let us instead reach to our dependence on God.