On the way in to work yesterday, I heard "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" playing on the radio...and the chorus touched me in a whole new way....."Glad tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy, glad tidings of comfort and joy!"
It suddenly hit me how very appropriate that chorus is. Like many of you, I have been riding the emotional Christmas roller coaster. The other night, I was at a cookie exchange. I looked around this room filled with beautiful Christmas decorations that paled next to the beauty of the women who had gathered there. Young women, some with their babies (or expecting a baby), older women with their grown up daughters next to them, all just enjoying each other's company. I took a mental snap shot of the group and just breathed in the satisfaction of being together. Joy!
Even within that group, there were some who were going through difficulties or had hearts that were heavy with the cares life sometimes serves. I had been praying all day for some friends I love who were facing a tremendously difficult crisis. I continued to pray for them in between the laughing and sharing and caring of my evening, knowing that whatever the outcome, the situation rested in the hands of God and He would provide healing or strength to endure. Comfort!
Last night, Journey participated in a community Christmas party for those in need. I talked with families and played with children. I shared in the jubilation of kids who tore open gifts and laughed with glee at what lay underneath the wrapping. I watched the pain in the faces of some parents who had to tell their kids they had to wait...they were taking their gifts home so there would be something to open on Christmas morning. I loaded bikes into my SUV (a blessing I had received during this past year because someone responded to the need in my life) for one mom and her kids who had no way to get them home. I had the privilege of driving those bikes to their aunt's home. Their aunt and I talked for quite a while about being divorced and the struggle that presents. Through the sting of the cold night air, we shared stories of God's goodness in the midst of our difficulties. Comfort and joy!
For some, this Christmas season will be filled with magic and blessings. Others will face difficulty and sadness. For all, there is the promise...the promise of joy...and the promise of comfort. Because of the love of an amazing God, I can say to each of you...whatever YOUR circumstances...."GLAD TIDINGS OF COMFORT OF JOY!"
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,my salvation and my God. Psalm 42:11b
Image-My daughter took this picture of one of our trees.