Christmas time is here. Spreading joy and cheer. But for many, they are sensing more sorrow and shedding more tears. When you have experienced loss of a loved one, broken relationships, or a terrible tragedy, Christmas brings memories, both the joyful and the painful. Yes, joy and sorrow co-exist together for the sons and daughters of God and the joy of the Lord overcomes, but not automatically. Even when there are many good memories, the pain of what has been lost, changed or is yet to be resolved attempts to steal the joy of our triumphant journey.
Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional. We cannot avoid pain, but we can avoid joy.
This quote by Tim Hansel is something I need to remind myself of today. I am sometimes falling into the misery that the messiness of life brings over the joy.
Even today, December 8th, is the day David’s precious mother, Helen, our Nana, went home to Heaven. I will never forget that Christmas and how painful it was for many reasons even beyond losing our Nana, as if that wasn’t enough.
But it’s not the pain of Christmas past I am reflecting on today. It’s the pain of the present. The positive to pain, is it helps us empathize with others who are suffering. So, my present pain makes me empathize with others who are not fully enjoying this most wonderful time of the year, or, who may be wishing they could avoid Christmas Day.
Tis the season to be jolly, but many are desiring just to be peaceful and pain free.
After a not so peaceful and restful night, I was awakened around 5 am feeling led to write the following thoughts that I could not get out of my head until I got out of bed.
It’s not just the pain of my past.
The pain of my present is needing the gift of Your presence to bring great joy today.
It’s the pain of the present that is coming to steal my joy. This is the season we celebrate and reflect and sing of the “great joy” You came to bring to “all people.“ I am one of those people who is now needing the gift of Your presence to be Immanuel, the God who is with us, to be with me in my present pain to bring the joy that remains.
I need the gift of Your presence to be present with me overcoming all my pain. Giver of great joy will you come new to me today.
Today is December 8th. The number 8 represents new beginnings. Just like the new babe born and given to us on that first Christmas morn.
As I behold You, Lord, I am needing the new. I desire to see the new I am believing You to do.
As I behold You, Lord, I am needing Your mighty counsel. There are difficult situations I need wisdom to navigate through.
As I behold You, Lord, I am needing You, Prince of Peace, to calm my mind, comfort my heart, and silence my anxious thoughts.
I am needing You, the Everlasting One, to Father, help, guide and comfort me.
Immanuel, be ever present with me.
Great Joy Giver I need Your joy today more than any Christmas past. Immanuel, I need Your presence more than any other gift I will receive.
My pain has always pressed me to pray, pen and pursue God’s presence.
I don’t want to be a fake, so help me be joyful by faith and joyful in You, Lord, today.
Help me, Holy Spirit, to live out my new name of Joyful Jenny and may your joy always be my strength.
May the power of Immanuel’s presence be real to you and be with you. May the God who is always with you fill you with His supernatural peace, and the great joy only the greatest gift of Christmas can bring.
“…Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).
Isaiah 7:14 NLT
“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6 NLT
“That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
Luke 2:8-14 NLT