The Bible says: "Do not let your hearts be troubled." It is a command from Jesus. In this world He told us that He knew we would have troubles so this seems like a contradiction, but it is not. If we choose to dwell on the negatives in our lives, we will never experience His mercy and the peace that only He can bless us with.
As I busily worked last night getting the house decorated for Christmas the memories came flooding in. Christmas was never very special for me as a child. I lived in a home that was always filled with tension and arguments and I never knew when the next explosion would occur. But in the midst of all of that God provided a way for me to feel His presence and His love. The woman who owned the tenament house that my family lived in during my elementary school years loved Christmas and in her living room she had a life size (at least to a small child) nativity.
Every evening around 7:00 PM I was invited down where the backdrop for the nativity was a large sky blue board covered with lights...I thought that it looked like Heaven. All those present would kneel down and we would pray and then at the end would place some wheat in the manger where the baby would eventually lay on Christmas Day. I loved those evenings and they were such a special time in a young girl's life.
My Dad's last Christmas he spent with us as he had moved into our house. I remember him helping us decorate the tree and the smile on his face. Little did I know that it would be his last Christmas with us. I remember later on in the evening after we had put the kids to bed he and I sat in the family room sipping some hot tea and he said to me: "the best Christmas gifts are never under the tree...the best Christmas gift is the gift of family...it is watching these grandchildren of mine living life and you loving them with every ounce of your being, thank you for the gift of this time."
My Dad and I had been robbed of that for so many years. After my parent's divorce we were estranged and always there was that familiar ache on Christmas as I missed him so much. God in His infinite wisdom gave me my Dad back for one more Christmas and I will forever be thankful for the difference it made in my life.
What a blessing we have in knowing that our hearts might be heavy because we live in a fallen world...but surrendering the burdens to the One who promises that He is enough...He will sustain us and He will never leave us or forsake us gives us a peace even in the midst of the storms of life. You or I we do not know what the future will hold...dreams come crashing down some times but if we are followers of Jesus we have assurance...blessed assurance that He is our peace. He alone is our Hope and He holds our hearts so very close to His and our hearts can rest in that He knows how the stories will all turn out.