Christmas Season: When we are filled with this overcoming want to be cheery and bright. Where snowflakes dance in the sky and mistletoe is hung in hopes of making two perfect strangers fall head over heels in love. December is the time when it’s chilly outside but inside each and every perfectly decorated home there is warmth, laughter, delicious food and a loving family.
I want that. I want all of that. And I want to give that all to you. I’ve been sitting here trying to construct this beautiful post. A post that would bring joy and brightness to a sometimes bleak and sad world. A post to give refuge from a daunting life. But it’s hard.
I understand the holidays aren’t always candy canes and Christmas carols. There is a social pressure to make sure our Christmas trees are decorated just so. A lot of us are consumed with the fact that we need to buy the perfect gift for everyone in our life, that our Instagram feed embodies all that is Christmas spirit, and that when Christmas day comes, we have the PERFECT day with our PERFECT family.
But none of us are going to have the perfect Christmas. We all know Uncle Joe is going to say something that causes a wildfire at Grandma and Grandpa’s house and then everyone will sit there awkwardly with their eyes fixated on their sugar cookie, trying not to make any eye contact. There’s always going to be a gift someone doesn’t like. If you have any pets in your home, I am sure that perfectly decorated Christmas tree is going to be knocked over at least twice. People are going to ask you about your job (you know, the one you hate but you pretend like you don’t because Christmas is not the time to discuss your unhappiness). The bank account is going to feel a little tight. We are going to feel failure whether it be because we can’t afford something, we aren’t in a place in our life that we were expected to be, or we couldn’t get that social media picture to look as amazing as Sally’s. (Sally always has the best pictures!) AND THAT’S OKAY!
Our refuge should never be in the stuff. Our happiness should never be found in perfection. Our rest can only be found in God. In Psalm 91 we are told, “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty […] He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.” I mean, I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty nice. All we need to do to find refuge, to find peace, to experience joy, is to rest in God. Trust in Him. We can scramble and prepare and clean our homes 5 times before company arrives but in the end, peace and rest can only come from God.
True holiday spirit is appreciating the life that surrounds you. Finding comfort in the situations we’ve been put in. Enjoying moments with loved ones and friends. Sure, there are stressful parts but in the end, does it matter? We have a God who doesn’t expect us to be anyone but who we are. We have a God who knows our hearts and wants what’s best for us. We are given a place to rest. A true place to rest.
So go ahead and decorate your home to the nines. Keep your fingers crossed that Aunt Linda and Aunt Karen don’t bicker again this year. Buy that perfect gift for little Billy and pray to God he doesn’t throw it away after a week. But if he does and if they do, it’s okay. God’s got your back, every day, whether it’s Christmas or just a regular Wednesday; He’s there.