Wednesday, December 16, 2015

If you're hurting this Christmas

The trouble with Christmas is the pressure to be happy, joyful, cheery, on top of your game.

It is much easier to be all of these things when they are not an expectation.

So, you see, the expectations for Christmas joy and cheer can set the stage for trouble, even if your life sails along on a mostly even keel.

But the trouble is all the greater when your course turns askew.

What do you do when a great shadow looms over your life, when your heart is broken, when loss stares you in the face, or the threat of impending loss . . . then what?

When it seems like everybody else is all, "Jingle all the way!" Sprinkling glitter and snowflakes and confectioner's sugar.  Expecting you to smile and join the laughter and the song.  When this is going on, but your heart is bleeding out inside of you, what do you do?

You remember Jesus.

Jesus cares about you.

Jesus sees through the hoopla and and the bling, hears beyond the frenzied voices and the seasonal music.  Jesus sees you: your heart, your tears, your empty hands and jumbled thoughts.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.
~Psalm 34:18 (esv)

He heals the brokenhearted 
and binds up their wounds.
~Psalm 147:3 (esv)

This is exactly why Jesus came, why that baby packaged full of the Divine essence was delivered to a  humble stable in the midst of the craziness of a Roman census. He came to save us from the brokenness of the world.  He said so Himself, when He got older.

And He [Jesus] came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up.  And as was His custom, He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and He stood up to read.  And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him.  He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, 
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because He has anointed me 
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim
liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
And He rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down.  And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him.
~Luke 4:16-20 (esv)
This quote that Jesus read comes from Isaiah 61:1, and in Isaiah 61:1, it also says, ". . . He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted. . . "

Jesus came to bind our broken hearts.  Sometimes our hearts are broken because of our own spiritual blindness and captivity in sin.  Sometimes our hearts are broken because of sin's effects on someone else.  Sometimes our hearts are broken simply because we miss somebody we love.

No matter what kind of care is wearing away at you, bring it to Jesus.

Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you.   ~1 Peter 3:7 (kjv)

He delights to comfort you with the glory of who He is.  He will never condemn you for your sorrow.  He will wipe away your tears and (eventually) make all things new.

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