Monday, December 17, 2012

Hold Steady To Your Joy

This weekend has been a tough one for our small-town community and for our nation.  Many of us spent sleepless nights, begging God to make sense of the senseless.  

We prayed as a family.  Cried as a family.  And felt the heartache as though every child taken was our very own.   

Sunday morning, I woke, longing to hear words that would help ease the ache. 

When we sang Immanuel…my thin grip on composure evaporated and the floodgates opened.  Through tears that would not stop, I listened to the pastor call on us to find our joy.  Joy not of ourselves.  And certainly not in the circumstances.  But in God’s love, and His presence, and His promise that one day the victory will be His alone. 

It seemed like once again, I was caught reaching for a peace that was just out of reach.  And his words were convicting.

This Christmas will be like no other I have ever experienced.  There WILL be joy, and celebrating.  But it will take courage and determination every step of the way. 

Friends, we’ve been viciously attacked by evil.  There’s just no other way to say it.  An evil that wishes to demoralize us and discourage families during the most family-centered time of the year.

There may be more tears.  In fact, I’m sure there will be.  But I refuse to let Satan sweep this season away in sadness.  I will hug my family more.  I will encourage others more.  I will pray more, read His Word more.  And live more boldly for Him than I have ever done before.

Because I DO have hope. 

May the carols we sing and the lives we live be the well spring of hope for others.


And may Satan be stopped in his very tracks by the passion he has unwittingly ignited in each and every one of us this Christmas.


in the coop said...

We heard a similar sermon yesterday. God was with the martyrs way back when, and he is with the families and all who are suffering now. Have a merry, blessed Christmas with your family.

Mari said...

I read something by Max Lucado that talked about this being a dark Christmas, and then he said that the first Christmas was also a dark Christmas and talked about the babies that were killed by Herod. He ended with the reminder that God is with us in dark times - then and now!