The Other Side of Christmas: December 17

Remembering the Promise of Christmas              

December 17, 2019
by Tim, Tia, Maya & Jacob Johnson           

Psalm 30:10-12 (NIV) 
Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me;
    Lord, be my help.” 
 You turned my wailing into dancing;
    you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
    Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

In past years, we found ourselves complaining about the hectic nature of the holidays. We had too many events to attend, too many gifts to buy, and certainly too many Hallmark movies to watch. Even if we had time to think about what we wanted for Christmas, our list would have been decidedly short:  fewer places to be and more money to spend. 
But now, the battle we face is not against time or money, but grief. We’d gladly take those busy times instead of the Goliath that is looking over at an empty seat where our loved one used to sit. Last year, we lost my father to cancer. He always loved the Christmas season. The light of Christmas now has a shadow of sadness. And with the holiday season lasting over a month, the shadow can seem inescapable and all-consuming. 
But what gets us through this time is praying to God to help us focus on remembering the reason for the season. It is not money, time, or grief. It is Jesus, for He is the one who offers eternity that renders lost time irrelevant, strength which offers more security than money can ever buy, and comfort that wipes our tears from the depths of grief. As Psalm 30:12 suggests, we should focus on Him and the greatness of His deliverance, the same way David wanted God to be praised, and not himself.  
So, we are going to focus our time and thoughts on giving honor and glory to the one and only true God who offers mercy, remembering all the times He turns our wailing into dancing, removing our sackcloth to clothe us with joy, so that our hearts may sing His praises and never be silent.  
Pray and ask God to help get through the hectic holiday season and provide the joy necessary to overcome sadness; and remember all the battles He fought and won for us, giving Him all the honor and glory. 
Father God, when our hearts feel heavy and burdened, help us to put our thoughts and attention on You, help us to lean on Your words and promises during this holiday season. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen. 
About the authors:
Tim, Tia, Maya & Jacob Johnson 
Tim and Tia Johnson have been married for 23 years. They have a daughter, Maya, 
who is a junior at George Mason University, and a son, Jacob, who is a freshman at Colonial Forge High School. They have attended Stafford Crossing since May 2014. They enjoy serving on the First Touch Team.