Thoughtful Thursday: It’s okay if Christmas is different this year.

I’m pretty sure that none of us are spending Christmas day the way we feel it is supposed to be. In many ways, it just doesn’t feel like Christmas and yet in other ways, the pressures to make plans (and change plans), shop, wrap, etc. are just as present as ever.

Uncertainty mixed with trying to make it “feel” like Christmas almost make me wish it was already over at times. Then, I stop and realize that my disappointments are based on my self-centered ideas about what Christmas “should” be. My beloved traditions don’t really have anything to do with what we are truly supposed to be celebrating. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with decorations, family gatherings, etc. but when everything is going as it “should,” my planning often takes all of my attention this time of year, leaving little awareness of the true meaning of Christmas.

The disruptions to my plans have had me pondering and remembering that it was into a hurting world, under the most humble conditions that Jesus was born. His parents were away from home, living in a manger, surrounded by animals and strangers. It is often during the most trying times that God is most obviously at work (if we take the time to notice).

The pain that people are experiencing right now (illness, isolation, underemployment, etc.) is real, but our God is at work, even in those situations and we can see it if we take the time to notice.

Take some time today to let the disruptions in our lives lead you toward God and to recognize where He is at work in our hurting world. 

Let me know where you see God at work and I will share our responses on Facebook (when I am back in the office) so others can also see that our God is bigger than our current circumstances.

May your Christmas be blessed in new and unexpected ways.

Philippians 4:6-7 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.