Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Hope of Christmas

I believe most of America awoke with a heavy heart this morning.  I had many of the same feelings I wrote about just a little over a week ago.  I even went back today and reread what I wrote then.  After the horror of yesterday's shootings at a school in Connecticut, how can we go forward cherishing Christmas?

I've thought about this all day long. 

I believe now more than ever, we, as a people, need to focus on Christmas.  We need all the hope that Christmas brings by celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, who offers salvation to all who believe in Him.  In times of great heartache, those who believe turn to God for strength.  Yesterday brought many many people in this nation to their knees.  I know it did me.

And yet with sadness in my heart, today was also a joyous day for our family because we welcomed our Scientist back home for the semester break.  It was a wonderful reunion for all four of us.  We are the kind of family that truly enjoys being together and we delighted in our Scientist's return - even if it's just for a few weeks.  We know we will cherish this time together as a family. 

I also checked #20 off my list when I Surprised Someone with an Early Christmas Gift. 

Surprise Someone with an Early Christmas Gift
A few months ago, I secretly purchased tickets to see a live show of one of our favorite comedians.  Once our family was all together, I presented the surprise tickets to my guys.  They were all super excited to get the opportunity to go to this show while our Scientist is home and we can all go together.  It was a long time to keep a secret, but worth it when I saw their reaction. 

It was good to be able to smile and laugh today.  It was good to know we could make another family memory together.  It was good to have something to look forward to - together as a family.  While our hearts break for those who are deeply hurting, yesterday was also a reminder how precious our time together is and how important it is to take time to be together and cherish each other this Christmas.

Christmas Devotion
On the day I was hurting for a friend and wasn't sure how to cherish Christmas while there was so much hurting going on around me, I turned to my Christmas devotions and found just the verses and words I needed to share comfort.

Yesterday as we reeled from the horrible events of the shooting, once again I found comfort in my Christmas devotions through the verses and words written for that day's lesson.

So it was really no surprise to me that today I would read a devotional titled "God's Goodness" with the scripture reading from Psalm 23. 

The author, Jack Countryman says these words: "Certain days - certain seasons of life - may cause us to question God's goodness, His mercy, and even His presence with us.  In times like that, we choose to trust that God is with us and is choreographing good to come as a result of these dark places.  We choose to believe - regardless of our circumstances - that Jesus, our Good Shepherd, is with us and is caring for us." 

I don't know when Mr. Countryman sat down and wrote these words, but they were most certainly written for today.

Just 10 days until Christmas.

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