Can I skip this year?
It was an early snow this first year without Mom. She loved the change of seasons. Once the snow hit the ground, its pristine white took on a golden hue because of the pigmented Fall leaves still covering the ground beneath. –As if Fall was saying, I’m not ready yet.
We don’t feel ready either. The passing of time can bring us to our knees.
I find myself straining to fulfill holiday expectations that God never put on me. I yearn for what was so terribly much that I wonder if I might strong-arm myself past the pain to my new normal. If I can just get over this pain! I don’t like myself in pain.
Pain is humbling, but there are far worse places than pain. Places like callousness or bitterness or despair. These are likely destinations when we navigate pain in our own strength. We must not be afraid to let ourselves melt down in the presence of God. To the extent that pain brings us facedown before the Cross, we must not loathe it.
When I invite the Lord into my grief, He has a way of working gratitude in me. Praise God that we can hold both at the same time. If we have encountered few meaningful examples of lamentation in our faith journey, we must remember the Bible is rife with them. You may not want to burden those around you with your cries, but you will never burden God. He found it pleasing to specifically instruct you to cast your cares on Him.
Your frustration is an act of worship when it’s submitted to God. Remind yourself that you’re frustrated because you still have faith. Yes–be encouraged! Your frustration is credibility that you still believe God is good, and you are frustrated as you await completion of His good work. Do not despise the frustration. Park that frustration in His patient hands.
His steadiness undergirds your waiting. He never asked you to get there. He asked you to get to Him. And that fellowship is better than anything.
Give yourself permission to take it a day at a time this Christmas season. Some days, you’ll need to go easy. Some days, you won’t be able to push through. You live for the audience of One. In your yes, in your no, in your I don’t know yet—the Spirit gives you discretion on how to use your days. This moment is a new moment and a new opportunity to tell your Shepherd you are desperate for His yoke.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28 (NIV).
Prayer. Lord Jesus, show me how to rest in You.
Application. Today, I will set aside 5 minutes to sit quietly before the Lord.