Christmas is approaching and you can feel it in the air... anxiety, that is! People are hustling and bustling, just as the song says, buying this and buying that; fussing, pushing, celebrating and consuming. Just the other night, my good friend found her self in a car accident- the victim of an overstressed mom, trying to make her way down the highway towards the mall, no doubt.
During this time of year, people seem to loose their minds. The media is full of stories highlighting disgruntled customers and impatient people eager to purchase their bit of holiday cheer. Underneath all the frantic reactions and crazy, built up momentum, people are really just excited and hopeful that this year will be their year for peace, love and joy, as is the undertone of the season. This year, they hope to find the perfect gift, host the perfect family get together and finally relax from their busy year. This Christmas, maybe broken relationships will be mended, or new romances started. Maybe this year...
As I sit back and look at my own wrapped gifts, I suddenly feel a hope for peace, love and joy myself. I hope for a closeness with family members and sweet fiends. I hope to see my daughter's joy light up under the tree and continue to raise her up to be kind, confident and passionate for Christ. I hope to see my husband fulfill all of his goals and dreams and I hope to one day buy my father a boat. I hope for love to arrive in the lives of each of my single friends. I hope to grow closer to God. I hope to grow closer to myself.
In my opinion, each hope that we have is like a wrapped Christmas box. We know there is something inside that must be worth the fuss of gold paper and bows, but without a giver, we will never receive what ever the gift may be. Hope is a beautiful thing. It gives us drive to do the impossible and requires a faith in what is yet to come. There is strength in hoping and lovely anticipation for the revealing of what we hope for, but hoping must have a source, otherwise it is not hope. It's merely a wish.
The cry of humanity is peace. The hope of humanity is in finding a way to usher in that peace. We sign treaties that fail, make promises that are broken, ask favors that are never returned and demand justice that is only prolonged. The answer to our problems is a state of peace, but what source are we hoping in? If our hope is in the government, then we will surely be let down. If our source is in our money or in our success, it will be short lived. Are we hoping in that new relationship- if so, any signs of discord could propel us into fear, not peace. If I merely hope in my ability to attain a result, it may never come to fruition; but if I hope in a source greater than myself, then odds are, I will receive what is best for me, concerning the results in which I hope for.
Jesus wants to be that source for you. He wants to be what you most hope in and hope for. The idea of gift giving is not merely of habitual tradition; it's a spiritual reality, wrapped in love, and culminated at the birth of the Prince of Peace that the world desperately needs; though they do not always recognize it.
"For unto us a child is born...And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."~Isaiah 9:6
The peace that we hope for, pray for and fight for, can only be attained through the love of Christ. When we put our hope in Him, He delivers those results in our personal lives and circumstances, and one day, will deliver those results for the souls of the whole world. When our hope is in Him, we will never be disappointed.
As we embark on yet, another Christmas, I urge us all to take some time to consider things that we hope for. What is it that our hearts truly long to see? Is it peace of mind on our jobs? Marriage? Children? A new promotion at work? Health for a family member? Direction for our dreams? Whatever it is that we want, consider the source we are using to realize these things. Is this source dependable, reliable or trustworthy? Can we expect this source to be a permanent answer, or will it only be temporary? Our hopes and dreams are too valuable to leave up to chance and our longing for peace is too precious to entrust with anyone other than the Lord. Trust in Him to give you what you need. He will never disappoint or fail you. His gifts are eternal and HIs promises are sure.
This Christmas, as we hope for peace in our hearts and peace on Earth, remember the One who was born to give us just these things! In Christ, we do not hope in vain and the peace He promises is everlasting and wrapped in love for all to receive, if we just believe!
A very Merry Christmas to you all!
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