Grieving something or someone this Christmas?

I thought it wouldn’t.

But it did.

It happened again.

Kenny G was belting out jazzy, holiday cheer. A burning candle wafted a delicious candy cane scent. I was by myself happily decorating our house for Christmas. I lifted a slightly torn, rectangular box out of the large plastic storage bin and chuckled to myself. This box has to be more than 60 years old!

Carefully wrapped inside was a slender, shiny, tree topper that graced my parents’ Christmas trees for decades. It wasn’t the original which came in the now-yellowed box, but a replacement topper my folks decided to store there after the first one broke. (I can just hear my Mom saying: Why throw away a perfectly good box?)

I lovingly placed the topper in my mom’s antique glass pitcher filled with some of my parents’ old ornaments, stepped back and approvingly surveyed my decorating.

 And then it started. A lump in my throat. I swallowed hard, but it grew. I felt my eyes misting and then hot, tears began to sting as I tried to hold them back.

I miss my mom and my dad. I don’t want their ornaments…I want them! 

I sat down on the couch and wept.

And that’s what grief does to us. It catches us when we’re not expecting it and won’t let go until we’ve allowed it to have its say.

Have you experienced grief sneaking up on you? A sound, a smell, a word, a photo. Something triggers a memory or thought and you come undone.

Maybe you’re grieving the loss of health or a job. Maybe it’s the first Dec. 25 a certain smiling face won’t be in your home. Or maybe it’s been 20 years, but you still yearn for one more holiday with them.

Or maybe the persons you’re missing haven’t passed away, but circumstances are separating you this year. It just doesn’t seem right you won’t be together. That’s grief you’re feeling, too.

Connie Milchling, author, speaker, ministry director

My friend Connie, whose husband Brad literally dropped dead of a heart attack in 2004 at age 47 recalls that she didn’t feel like celebrating Christmas just three months after his passing.

“I felt horrible because I did not want to celebrate Jesus’ birth because of Brad’s death,” admitted Connie.

But a good friend gave her some insight which helped ease that holiday pain.

“Do you know what Jesus is doing this Christmas season?” the friend asked Connie.

Connie shook her head “no.”

“He’s weeping…He’s weeping with you.”

Connie said that mental image of Jesus shedding tears for her helped to stop the worrying about all the unwanted holiday celebrations. Instead, she prayed: “Just for today, I need to see Jesus. Just for today, I need to seek Jesus. Just for today, I need to serve Jesus.”

Are you grieving something or someone this Christmas? Jesus–the whole Reason for the Season–is weeping with you.  Remember He understands your sorrow (Isaiah 53:3) even if no one else on earth really does. Why not share in Connie’s prayer that today you will see Jesus…today you will seek Jesus…today you will serve Jesus.

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” Psalm 34:18
Be sure to open in your browser to hear “Be Still My Soul” sung by Libera, a British acapella boys’ choir.

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