Can you find the joy in Christ even in the midst of your struggles?
“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, NASB)
By the time most of you are reading this, December will be well underway. I wanted to talk about how much sooner Christmas comes each year and the anticipation that creates in my heart. However, I feel God wants me to share something greater with you this month – something more real.
Have you ever had a bad day? Sure you have. All of us have. So, lemme ask, “Have you ever had a bad week? month? year?” Have you been in a spot where you feel as if you are being hit from all sides? Trust me, I would rather discuss different ways to celebrate Christmas with your family right now. However, God won’t let me go there.
Life is hard. We have bills to pay, jobs to endure (sometimes we get to enjoy them), relationships to nurture, and schedules to keep. Most of us take a break from the fray and relax on the weekends. Then, the car breaks down and the repairs are more than in your emergency fund. Your supervisor comes to let you know, “the good news is you get to keep your job, but we have to reduce your hours.” You misread something your mother says to you, your response is not as eloquent as you planned and now you and she are not talking to each other. Because you now need to make more money to make ends meet, your schedule is now filled with a part-time job in the evenings and weekends. Then, you get news that your wife is sick – like really sick. When will it stop? Where will the next hit come from? Each knock at the door and a ring of the telephone makes you jump out of shellshock in anticipation for the next hit.
The above narrative is strictly a “what-if?” No real persons represent the above scenario. Yet, I will venture to guess that more than one of you relate to the above situation. I would think that some of you may even know someone going through something like the above. And now to remind you that Christmas is coming. How jolly do you think it is going to be for people in these struggles? I fully believe that people can, and should, find joy in Christ even in the midst of their struggles, but this encouragement is for those surrounding the hurting. How has God provided or prepared you to lift the spirits of those surrounding you where He has placed you? Some of these people may be family. Some may be neighbors or sit next to you in the pew. Others may be strangers sitting on the park bench too exhausted to lift their head, or exhale enough breath to voice, “hello.” They might even share an office with you.
Again, let me remind you, it is Christmas time. This is the time of the year we celebrate the greatest gift of all. Look around, and see with whom you can share His gift of life through the Gospel and make His love be felt through gifts of care.
His Servant & Yours,