Thanksgiving is behind us, and now we look forward to the event, which brings us continuous hope. The time when Jesus Christ was born. As I looked through many bins of Christmas decorations collected during my married life, I thought of my life back then. The life that forced me to be something I wasn’t, accompanied by displays of holiday glitter and showiness as resemblances and expectations of the chosen work of my then spouse. Nothing simple, and instead grandeur! Grandeur with no love and with only subtle elements of why we celebrate Christmas. Even so, I always kept the childhood representations and displays of the birth of Jesus Christ in my heart.
I look back on that life lived with gratitude because I know the inward light of Jesus remained, despite all of it. I prayed consistently, but the shock of that life still took me on a whirl after my divorce. Shock can do this to a person. My psychological studies brought me to many journals on shock. I still read about research studies on this topic, among several others. Shock is likewise a word used lightly in daily conversations. In these occurrences, it is not applied as a specific issue. Yet, a severe shock diagnosis can cause so many changes in the body and in the mind.
Although there are several types of shock, the two main categories are psychologic and physiologic. The one I was briefly faced with was psychologic or also known as an acute stress disorder. For a moment, I lost my way. Making some stupid decisions and yet still, acknowledging that they were idiotic when I made them. In hindsight, I know now that I was conscious that I was making these unfavorable decisions because I continued reading the Bible as my foundation of love. The Bible set me straight. I read many preachers of the old, as well. One thought of C.H. Spurgeon brought my heart to flow out that all-rightness, I needed so badly.
This thought is:
“But a very fruitful source of ruin to Church members is that of a young man or a young woman choosing an ungodly partner in life. They never can expect God’s blessing upon it. They tell you sometimes they hope to be the means of their friend’s conversion. They have no right to hope such things; it so seldom occurs.”
Then I was led to the Apostle Paul’s writings on the importance of following God’s calling. I speak of 1 Corinthians 7:15-16 here. I sometimes share verses in their numerical form because they allow you to find what I have discussed in the Bible. Also, it is a chance to know God’s words in their proper context by perhaps reading what is above the verse I share and what is below it. So many Bible verses are taken out of context these days. Quite alarming, indeed!
And so, as I read the two supplements I mentioned above, when I put these examples together, I was blown away! The inward light of Jesus came through like a burst of much-needed energy. My step was lighter; my daily dealings were easier to move through, opportunities came flowing, I returned to school, and the rest is beautiful history. God provided peace to the land of my parched and empty soul.
In joyful splendor and with the valuable time I now have, in the last week, I looked through every Christmas bin. Presently, I feel so good that four large boxes of Christmas goods were donated to Goodwill over the weekend. Elements of Santa Clauses were given to friends who appreciated them but still asked why I needed to give them away. My answer has been to everyone “The life I lived before my soul broke and was renewed again, was once forced into the commercialism of Christmas. Because of this, for many years, my goal was to rid myself of the items that reminded me of this time in my life. Now that I don’t have a dissertation to perfect, I have finally done that. Christ is why I celebrate. Like the white lights on the Christmas tree, He must always shine on and in me.”
At every moment I shared these words, tears were shed, and then hugs appeared. My quenched heart was known. In doing so, I touched the hearts of others too. Perhaps enhancing the hope I have that everyone would know Jesus completely. That this joy could just possibly come through the general gifts I gave of Santa Clause. Life can be interesting that way, huh?
D. Martin Lloyd Jones said this in his book Spiritual depression: Its causes and cures.
“I am not asking whether you know things about Him—but do you know God, are you enjoying God, is God the centre of your life, the soul of your being, the source of your greatest joy? He is meant to be.”
As December carries on, let us always remember why we celebrate. Let’s not get caught up with all the commercialism of the modern Christmas season. Peace is waiting for us, because God waits for us and He enjoys our company. In His son, He gives us the thrill of hope as we continue to grow together, in this 12th month, our magnificent December! And, we pray, through Him, our weary world rejoices!
Jones, D.M.L. (1965). Spiritual depression: Its causes and cures. Wm.B. Edermann Publishing Co.
Spurgeon, C.H. (1863). Sermon 40: The Lambs and their Shepherd. Supporting verse is Isaiah 40:11