We have just finished celebrating another year of the birth of Christ. As I looked on social media, I saw the many celebrations people were having with family and friends. The beautiful decorations and the tables filled with food amongst smiling faces.
What if your pictures, your tables, and your lives didn’t look so full of life, laughter and abundance? Were you feeling the truth about the season of the Christmas miracle?
I was all set and ready to celebrate Christmas with my family when the phone rang. On the other end was my daughter in law. I could tell by the tone in her voice something was wrong. “I think we have to cancel our day,” she said. After waking from a nap, our youngest grandson suddenly became ill with a stomach virus. My first concern was that he was ok and how terrible it was for him to be sick on Christmas eve. I envisioned the whole family hanging their heads over sinks, trash cans, and toilets before the evening was over. My husband and I had to step back and punt our Christmas celebration with family.
Last year the Christmas season was a tragic one for our family as My sister in law suddenly died eight days before Christmas. As a family, we were completely unprepared and shocked at the devastating news. During all that pain, my son received a call and had to deploy the day after Christmas. I will admit last year was hard. I have experienced many hard years of navigating the holidays after multiple tragedies.
Through it all, how do we know God is good? How do we stand on His promises when life doesn’t go as planned? It may be a simple redirect like we had this year or a significant loss in our lives.
Most of us have read the account of Jesus walking on water in the middle of the storm. (John 14:26-31) The disciples were exhausted; they had been battling waves for some time when suddenly, Jesus was doing the unexpected and impossible. The disciples were not ready to grasp what they were seeing and became full of fear. Jesus called out to them, “telling them not to be afraid, and I am here.” Jesus’s presence in the storm caused Peter to act with fearless faith. Initially, Peter had no doubt he could do this, but when he took his eyes off Jesus, he began to sink. He wavered, despaired for a moment, and his doubt became his downfall. Peter then cried out for Jesus to save him. Jesus stretched out his hand, lifted him up, and then said, “what little faith you have, why would you let doubt win?”
How many times do we allow doubt to win? Every time we find ourselves in the storms, do we take our eyes off Jesus and focus on how big the storm is? Believe me when I say I know how hard it is when life doesn’t go as planned. Many times, I have had to believe God’s promises he is there for me always. I can’t let doubt win.
In Romans 8:28, the word tells us that God is always working, ensuring that even in the middle of our mistakes and tragedies, good will be the outcome for those who love him. What happens may not always be right, but God will cause everything to work together for the good of his children and, ultimately, his purpose for maturing our relationship with him.
Suffering will still bring us pain, loss, and sorrow. But under God’s control, the after effect will eventually strengthen our relationship in him and good things can and will come from it. Our ultimate destiny is to be like Christ and share his glory. God calls us to a purpose to glorify his son and be a part of his growing kingdom.
Though you may not feel God is good, know he is right there with his hand stretched out to pull you out of your storm. Have no doubt you can walk on that water right beside him and weather the storm you are in now. He is good, and he has shown up in so many ways in my life. There was a time in my life, and I couldn’t have said that. Today I can!
The good news my husband and I spent our Christmas in a luxury hotel, dining in a five-star restaurant. I didn’t have to cook or clean up. My son was home with his family this year after spending many holidays away during his military career. My little grandson is alive happy and, in his words, describing his illness, “his belly no longer hurts, and he isn’t barfing anymore!”
I hope your Christmas was blessed and you were able to find God’s blessings, no matter how small or big they were.
God is good!