Is Christmas about celebrating love and family? Not exactly . . .
Feel like the season of joy and peace has little to do with you? In fact, those who are living in pain, who can’t see a way forward, who see no light at the end of the tunnel are EXACTLY who the Christmas message is for.
Christmas is the season of faith and hope that things will get better, that the light will return.
It reminds me of one of the things that I love about being a ghostwriter. In my profession, I get to hear so many wonderful stories that prove that the Christmas season is not just for the delusional. I hear how people survived rare forms of cancer. I hear how people worked past childhood trauma to become strong and emotionally healthy. I hear how people immigrated to a new country and had to adapt to a strange society, a foreign way of handling money, and a new way of becoming financially stable. I get to hear how people have NOT let illness hold them back, but have learned to live with it and even thrive! In short, I get to hear how people landed in dark, seemingly impossible circumstances and yet found the light and pushed toward it.
These stories I hear as a ghostwriter constantly remind me: there is every reason to believe the Christmas story, and the message of the season.
Waiting for the Light
What happens in this season?
As the year wanes, the days get shorter and shorter. The light fades. The nights grow longer and longer. The darkness’ strength appears to grow. Most of us know, though, that that’s temporary: after the longest night, the sun is “reborn,” and the daylight hours start growing longer again. That’s why, although no one knows for sure what time of year Jesus was born, it’s a good time to commemorate His birth.
You see, at the time when Jesus was born, God’s people had been conquered—multiple times. They were not free, not even in their own country! Multiple prophecies had foretold that a king, a leader, would restore their fortunes and bring them freedom; where was he? God had been silent for hundreds of years.
On top of that, humanity itself was broken. Whether you believe the story of Adam and Eve is historical fact or whether you think it’s a myth, there’s no denying that despite humanity’s most sterling qualities, we’re a bunch of screw-ups. War is still a thing. So is child abuse, sex trafficking, addiction, domestic violence, divided families, poverty, hunger . . . the list goes on.
God had also promised to send someone to heal that brokenness. Yet thousands of years had passed. Still nothing.
Now, I’ve been through some horrible pain in my life, but I’ve never waited hundreds of years for deliverance. I’ve suffered some pretty traumatic emotional wounds, but I haven’t waited thousands of years for a cure. So I can’t imagine the desperation that those who still believed God must have felt as they sat in the dark . . . waiting.
Ready for the Wait to Be Over?
Until a baby was born. Not in a palace or even a mansion. Not to a king and queen or even a local official and his wife. Nope, this baby was born in a stable to a simple tradesman and his teenage wife.
But when that nobody of a baby was born, a star appeared. And some smart people, people who’d been watching and waiting, noticed. They didn’t JUST notice.
A single glimmer of light, one spark of hope, but the people who hadn’t lost faith were prepared. They didn’t just breathe a sigh of relief and sit back: “Yay!” or “See, we were right!” No, they did the work to find the source of the light, the solution, the deliverance. They followed that star for hundreds of miles to find that one baby and his non-descript parents in a non-descript town. Then they poured out their own wealth, sacrificing expensive goods to that baby, the fulfillment of their hope.
I’m talking, of course, about the wise men.
They hadn’t given up on believing, they never quit hoping, and when they finally saw the light, they were ready: ready to do the work, ready to make the sacrifice.
This Season is for YOU
If you’re sitting in a dark place this Christmas season, sick of hearing “Joy to the World” ninety times in a row, frustrated that everyone is happy except you, certain that your life can never turn around—
You’re not the first to feel that way.
You’re probably not even the only person to feel that way right now!
But guess what? This season is for YOU.
The human experience I have the privilege of hearing in my work tells me hope is not foolish. Faith is not delusional.
Let the Christmas story speak to you. Be a wise man or a wise woman. Prepare yourself to do whatever you need to do to make it through to the other side.
Get ready. The light is coming.