In our household, the first Sunday of Advent marks the official start of our count-down to Christmas. So yesterday we lit the first of the four Advent candles at church and put up the first of our decorations at home.
Today I usher in this Advent and Christmas season with an excerpt from Holidays for the Hurting: 25 Devotions to Help You Heal by Elisabeth Klein. If you are going through a hard time, or know someone who is, I hope you’ll be encouraged by her words. Thank you, Elisabeth, for joining me here today.
by Elisabeth Klein
My eighteen-year-old daughter said to me, “I just wish I could know how my life is going to turn out.”
I totally get it. I’ve got a few things myself that I’d give just about anything to get a little glimpse into the future.
Maybe today you feel the same way. Maybe your pain has left you a bit numb, or you’ve stopped hoping for your future, or you are just downright scared of how some things might unfold before you. I know, sweet one. I know.
But as I think back on the past twenty-five years of my life, back to when I was my daughter’s age, I skim over the highlights and lowlights and realize that had someone told me what was coming, I would have been in a corner somewhere in the fetal position rocking back and forth.
I think God knew very well what he was doing when he decided not to give us the ability of seeing into our futures. I think having just the one day in front of us to make it through is about all we can handle as humans.
Our minds and our hearts could not handle all of that foreknowledge at one time.
So that means, today, we sit with the reality that we have no idea how any single part of our lives will play out. This can be very frightening. Or . . .
Or we can hold onto the Truth of the bigger story.
That the Baby who came from heaven to earth holds all of our lives and our hearts in his hand.
And that he is in control.
And that he knows what he’s doing.
And that he will never leave us nor forsake us.
And that his plan for us is good.
And that he came to dwell among us.
And that he came to be our Counselor.
And that he loves us completely.
And though we don’t know how next year, or next month or even tomorrow may go, we know that Jesus came. And we know that Jesus took on our sin. And we know that Jesus died. And we know that he rose again. And we can trust that the bigger story ends very, very well . . . us together with him who came at Christmastime.
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
God, I can’t picture how this dark season is going to end. I’m scared of the unknowns. Part of me wishes you’d whisper the outcome to me, but the other part of me is choosing today to trust in your care and in your love. Amen.
Elisabeth Klein is a member of Redbud Writers Guild, a writer, mentor, speaker, and supporter of the hurting. If this post resonates with you, check out Holidays for the Hurting: 25 Devotions to Help You Heal. For more information and resources, see www.elisabethklein.com.
Writing/Reflection Prompt: Isaiah 9:6 lists a number of names for Jesus: Child, Son, Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Which resonates most with you at this time, and why?
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7 thoughts on “Holidays for the Hurting: A Devotion to Help You Heal”
Thank you, April, and thank you, Eliabeth. That was balm to my soul on this second Advent Day! I love all the names for Jesus listed in Isaiah 9,6.
So good to know, Elfrieda! May God’s comfort and joy continue to deepen within you throughout this season.
I suspect that each of us also have our own personal names for Jesus…that have or could help us in times of tribulation? I found the idea of Jesus as my boyfriend helpful when I was single and had no “date” when my younger sisters were in serious relationships. Then later I saw Him as my husband to help me through a time period. When my son died, I saw Jesus as a Parent who had also lost a child and cried with me in that pain. Then I came to see Him as a Healer not just of my physical pain, but emotional as well. I believe if we get over the gender issue, it may also be helpful for some of us to refer to Him as a sister or mother if that helps us with our healing and growth from anxiety to trust.
What tender names/images, Maria . . . they remind me that God graciously meets us where we are. Just that thought helps me to rest more fully in God’s care. Thank you for sharing out of your own personal experience and vulnerability.I so appreciate your response.
Price of peace! I need this!
Yes! Don’t we all at different times in our lives–when my mother-in-law died on Christmas Day, when my husband’s job was terminated through no fault of his own and in the most disrespectful way just before Christmas, in many situations we need to be reminded of our bigger story.