My holidays don’t look anything like I thought they ever would.
Sure, there are the Christmas trees, the lights, the music, the food, my children and other loved ones. I’m surrounded by family, friends and, for the most part, a sense of peace and happiness.
But someone is missing.
Someone I always thought would be there. Someone who was a key piece to not just the holiday puzzle but the family one. It doesn’t feel right, but the holidays have continued on without them, and there is nothing I can do to stop it - nothing I can do to add them back into the mix.
Are you missing someone this holiday season, too?
It’s hard. When one piece of the equation is missing, it just doesn’t feel complete. The math just doesn’t add up, and the answer is obviously wrong without them. Maybe there’s been a death. Or an estrangement. Or maybe just the busyness of life - work, other family obligations - is keeping that someone from being with you this Christmas.
Even if we understand why it happens, it’s still hard, and it still hurts.
Jesus came on Christmas morning to fill the missing void our souls need. He is the proverbial “X” in the equation of the holidays … the equation of life. Everything always comes back to “X”.
When we have a hole, Jesus fits perfectly in that spot, no matter the shape of it. But, we must look for Him to fill it.
A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:12, MSG)
Sure, it’s easy to find Jesus at Christmas time; he’s everywhere - in store windows, on mainstream radio holiday songs, laying in plastic, light-up mangers in the neighbors’ yards. But do we really see, even feel, His presence?
Luke chapter two says, “This is what you’re to look for…”
Are we actively looking for Him when our souls are sad, lonely, or angry?
Because He’s already here. He’s waiting to fill that void. He gave Himself for this reason.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11, ESV, emphasis added)
Yes, He is in store windows, on mainstream radio and laying in plastic mangers. But more importantly, He is whispering love on our left while the empty chair to our right shouts silence. If we let Him, He will wrap His arms around us whole being as we wrap our heads around our pierced heart.
So when we’re grieving, understand the intensity of our pain is equated to the dimension of our love, and use it to draw us closer to others, who are still present, in a godly way. The best way to combat our ache is to look out at others’ needs. Let’s look around and be the answer to the needs, even the wants, of others.
Cook a meal for the person who always cooks.
Write a note of appreciation to the person always under-appreciated.
Invite someone else who is also aching to spend the holidays with us.
When we fill the proverbial cup of others’ lives, we will witness Jesus’ presence, and answer the missing “x” from our holiday equation.
“I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20, ESV)
by Kristin Funston
If you would like to read more from Kristin Funston visit her at www.kristinfunston.com