I don’t know about you, but Christmas is one of my favorite things ever. Please understand me, I don’t mean I just look forward to it or that I think it’s neat and all because I love Jesus.
When I say Christmas is my favorite, I mean on a scale of the Grinch to Santa Clause, I AM Clark Griswold. I get this love for Christmas. I mean after all, my dad did teach me everything I know about exterior lumination. Let’s be real, at Christmas you get to celebrate Jesus and see Christmas lights everywhere you go. You just can’t beat it!
However for some, Christmas is not such a joyous occasion. For some, Christmas and the Holidays are not something they enjoy or even look forward to. Rather, it is something that is dreaded. The reason people feel this way differs drastically. For some, it’s because of people they have lost.For others, it is because of what they can’t do. However, I believe it all boils down to one word… lack. During a time that should be filled with joy, gladness, happiness, and so many other things, Christmas and the Holidays become a time of grief, depression, anxiety, sadness, and so many other things that we are not intended to feel.
In Luke 1, we see the account of the birth of John the Baptist being foretold. Let me give you a little back story. John’s “to-be” parents were Elizabeth and Zechariah. Up until this point, they had no children because Elizabeth was barren and they were both old. However, when Zechariah was serving as priest, the angel Gabriel came to him and foretold of the son that God was going to give to him and Elizabeth and all the great plans God had for him. However, Zechariah doubted this and Gabriel told him he would not speak until his son was born.
“The Lord has done this for me. In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”
I can’t help but wonder how this all made Elizabeth feel initially. Maybe not just initially, but after all the shock wore off, how did she feel? She had lived so long and had come to the reality that she was barren and would have no children. Yet now, God has decided it’s a good time for her to get pregnant; now that she’s old, now that she has come to terms with what would never be, now she’s going to have a baby. I wonder if what I just described is how many of us feel every single year once Christmas and the Holidays come.
However, verse 25 of Luke 1 changes things entirely. It describes to us how Elizabeth really felt. It gives us a look into her perspective It shows us how she viewed what she was going through and changes having to survive it into something she was given. The verse states, “The Lord has done this for me. In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.” One word in that verse changes it all. She said that what she was facing, God had done FOR her, not TO her.
I don’t know what you’re going through during Christmas or what you feel. Some of you feel things during this time of year that I can not imagine ever experiencing. During Christmas more so than any other time, it is so easy to look at what you lack, or what you have been through and to blame God for it. Regardless of what this season brings into your life, heart, and mind, don’t fall into the trap that God has done things to you. Rather, focus your heart on what God has done and is doing FOR you. By Elizabeth’s focus being that God had done it for her by giving her a pregnancy regardless of any other circumstances surrounding it, allowed her to walk through this positively.
Whether you feel like Scrooge when Christmas comes around or you’re like me and you feel like Clark Griswold, this year I hope that you will approach Christmas with a sense of gratitude for all God has done for you. Don’t wish you had more or see all the negatives as things God has done to you. God has done so much for you. This will change your perspective as you walk through this season.