Difficult December: Come thou long expected Jesus!

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December feels like a blur. In our household, at least one of us has been sick at any given time this month. And when you have a toddler who is sick – no one is sleeping. Suffice it to say, we are not ready for Christmas. And we are hosting Christmas at our house! Eek.(I have to stop and remind myself: the shopping, cooking, cleaning, card writing and even the gift giving is not what Christmas is ultimately about. To neglect to prepare MY HEART for the birth of the Christ child would be the biggest shame of all).

Besides feeling physically run down, my heart has felt heavy this month. I think of Aleppo. I think of the infant baby who was beat by his own father in Napanee (the child is on life support). I think of a family who lost their home and all their possessions in a fire. And I know several who are experiencing significant stress due to job loss at this time of year. My heart is heavy.

December has been a difficult month. A struggle. I haven’t been feeling very merry. ┬áRecently, I’ve begun to wonder if the struggles of this month are providing me with a different perspective of this season. When I read the lyrics of Come Thou Long Expected Jesus, the words hit me in a new way.

Come thou long expected Jesus.
Born to set us FREE.
Free from fears and sins.
Release. We find our REST in thee.
You are the hope of all the earth!
The joy of every longing heart.

A longing fulfilled. The birth of our saviour! The one who provides freedom, rest and hope is Immanuel, God is with us.

Whether this month has been mostly happy or mostly difficult, let us make time to focus on the long expected Jesus.

On my heart this Christmas

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I’m in awe that I get to experience feeling our baby move and kick at this magical time of year. I’m so grateful. December 2014 could have been such a dark time for me. And while heartache and pain never really go away, I can’t believe that I’m not only pregnant but feeling baby’s movement this Christmas. It brings me to tears. Tears of thanksgiving. And tears for those in a dark place this Christmas.

Thank you God for this wonderful gift of life. For the joy and peace that the timing of this little one brings. Please be especially near to anyone with hopes and dreams gone unfulfilled this Christmas. Let them feel your love. Please give them strength in the coming days. Wrap them in your comfort in a way that only you can. Amen.