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Christmas Mourning

  • Christmas Mourning

    By God& Leslie

    This holiday season begins with Thanksgiving, and then slides into Christmas. Nineteen years ago this month, marks the passing of my daughter. This year, I finally stopped mourning for her. She would have been 33. This year, I will celebrate her life, and that I was allowed to have her for all those years. I will celebrate the fact that she is in heaven and that one day, we will embrace once again. It has been a very difficult road, and each year, her passing has held me in its grip and it has left me so very sad.

    But this year, I felt the Lord would have me stop mourning, and rejoice.

    Christmas for a child is very magical; at least it used to be. That is what I portrayed on the old TV shows and Christmas movies. Visions of sugarplums dance in there heads. Dad’s building a bike in the garage on a cold winter’s night, and Mom’s baking in the kitchen. The fireplace is aglow with twinkling lights, no fires tonight so Santa can come down the chimney is a priority this evening.

    What is it like to have child like faith? That is what the Lord tells us we need. That unless you have the faith of a child you cannot get into heaven. But what is it like to have that kind of faith? Who around you has that kind of faith? A child, who believes in Santa, believes what he asks for, that he will receive. He has no doubts, he has written Santa, and his mom has mailed his letter, so he waits, impatiently, for Christmas morning where all his requests will come to life. We as Christians are supposed to have that kind of faith. When we became believers, we found the scriptures that said "Ask and Ye Shall Receive". "Call unto Me and I will Answer you". "Trust in the Lord". Scripture after scripture tells us we need to Believe, and we believe we believe, or do we?

    Proverbs 3:5, 6

    Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.

    Just as a child trusts in Santa, we are to trust in the Lord with every fiber of our being!

    The reality of life has a way of whittling you down. You could be a flute, harmonica, dart, or a rocking chair, the form you take on is in the hands of the whittler, and the whittler is God. Just as he is the potter, and you are the clay, God takes many forms and uses many tools to secure you in his hands. The choice is always up to you, He will not force you to do anything, but life’s circumstances have a way of wearing you out to the point of exhaustion.

    Life can leave you tearless, and unfeeling.

    If we did not have the media, we would never know what was happening around us. Is this how days of old were, more at ease? If you had family and friends that lived far away, you had no idea, most of the time, what was happening in their lives unless you received a phone call or a letter by snail mail. Now information comes at you so fast, all you have to do is log on to face book. You can read about someone’s divorce, death, or a cancer diagnosis, you name it, in just seconds you could have a response to your post.

    Christmas music started playing before Thanksgiving. All the merriest can be found listening to the music of the season. Bing Crosby and White Christmas makes me tingle with the feelings of the season. White Christmas is one of my favorite musicals; I watch it once a year. I can adlib the lines, and sing the songs without cue cards. Everything is laced in lace for the holiday. Pre-Black Friday deals flood my inbox with the promise of $1.99 shipping if I order today. All the sales papers show you the way to the best deal. I really wanted some Sweet Potatoes, but at our local grocery store they have been $1.29 a pound. Well this week, this grocery store has them for. 49 cents a pound, the other grocery store I shop at has them for .44 cents a pound, and then finally, what got my vote was Wal-Mart at .38 cents a pound. A big difference from $1.29 a pound.

    There is a pressure this time of year that causes excess stress and anxiety. No PEACE on earth is found this time of year, at least not in the times we live in. And the true meaning of Christmas gets lost amongst the rubble of the hottest deals for one day only.

    Babies first Christmas will not come to pass this year for some. That infant child will die in the arms of its mother upon birth. Much grief and sadness will consume these parents. The baby’s room, ready for its arrival, will sit dormant. The fragrance of baby powder fills the room, and a rocking chair that will not be used, stares at those who pass by. There are many questions to why this would happen, and why God would allow such a thing. Many will be bitter and angry against a God they do not even know.

    I am reminded of the story of Jesus birth. King Herod, jealous of a prophesy of a new king coming in the form of a baby is outraged. He will not have it. He commands his guards to go into all the land, and into outlining towns and orders them to kill all baby boys two years old and younger. Do you really think they took the time to find out if these were two and under and do you think those armies of men took the time to see if that baby was a girl or a boy? In the mean while, an angel visits Joseph in a dream and tells him the child is in danger and to take him and his mother to Egypt. So Joseph gets up, loads his family on a donkey and off they go in the middle of the night before the palace guards can reach them.

    The parents of the murdered children were more than grief stricken, and Rachael wept for her children for they were no more the scriptures say. So even way back in Jesus time, there abounded mourning for the death of a child. Now imagine for a moment, how many men and women were killed in this massacre trying to save their children. And Jesus, God’s son was spared this fate. I am sure that since he was God, in human form, I imagine, a tear, unseen by Joseph or Mary, fell from his little eyes as seen through God’s eyes. And Jesus Wept ! I know the scriptures refer to Jesus weeping for his friend Lazarus death, even though Jesus Knew he was going to raise his friend from the dead. But I imagine, baby Jesus weeping at what has happened to God’s creation in the sin stained world he now arrived in.

    Jeremiah 31:15

    Thus says the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.

    And I believe that God was waiting to receive at heavens gate all these children who had been murdered.

    Throughout the ages our lives have been spent in mourning. Whether it be for family member, friend, spouse or even a pet, most of us have been through a mourning period, a grieving period. But I believe the Lord would have us be reminded we are not alone during these times. That he is very much with us in all areas of our lives.

    This Christmas will be no different. But if we remember the babe in the manager this year I believe the spirit in us, that has been dimmed down ,will sparkle once again. Jesus was not born in a warm hospital nor wrapped in a plush store bought blanket. He did not have a crib to lay in and did not have on pampers. If you look at how he came into the world, what he went though, and how he died for you, you can see for yourself that His life was anything but glamorous and free from pain, strife, heartache, comfort or suffering. He went through all of what He went through so that he can truthfully say, he understands our pain, our suffering, our strife. One cannot say they truthfully understand unless one has been thorough similar circumstances.

    I will be honest with you, the holidays are still tough for me, and the sparkle I had is not very visible, but when I began to listen to the Christmas music it left me with thoughts of that day oh so long ago. I began to reflect on Jesus birth, life and death, and thought on how HE did this all for me. I feel the closest to the Lord this time of year, and all my hope is in HIM. Christmas is not about the presents, it is about HIS presence. It is about a God who loved me so much, that he would orchestrate the birth of his only son on my behalf, and on behalf of humanity. God knowingly sent his son to die for my redemption. HE loved me that much to single me out.

    It was up to me (as it is for you)to except his gift and live your life for him.

    This Christmas make sure you tell your family members you love them. Hug your grandchildren and great grandchildren a little longer this season. Make sure you tell your mother and father you love them if they are still alive. Thank them; forgive them for not being perfect. If you are going to give gifts, give them what matters, the Love of the Lord. If you give a gift card, then find a devotional book just for them, and slip the gift card in the book. They will use the gift card and not remember what they used it for, but a book is something they can pick up and remember your kindness by. Choose something that says you love them, tailored just for them.

    My office alone, in my little corner of this world, has been undergoing such mourning. There have been many divorces , many deaths, all of which will touch those left behind in some way this Christmas Season. There are those waiting for surgery that is scheduled for right before Christmas. You need to pray for those, remember to tell them you love them, you do not know if this is the time God will take them home. Surgeons are mere men, they make mistakes, they have fights with there spouses and they drink the night before surgeries are scheduled. These are skilled men, yet, it is only by God’s hand that those patients come out alive. Because of surgery one never knows what happens to you when they put you to sleep. A lady at our local grocery store, a dear lady, finally came back to work after being out for months. She went in to surgery for her gallbladder and they punctured her intestines and she almost died. It bothers me so , that in these times in which we live Doctors can be so sloppy. I can see in days long ago patients being lost to the circumstances of the time. But technology today, we should be better than new, yet we are still at the hands of those who have a drinking problem and refuse to get help. There are those who take drugs themselves and refuse to admit there skilled hands now shake.

    JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON !

    He is the reason for all seasons, but one can find reminders of HIM more this time of year. Just look at the lawns of your neighbors or of those homes on your way home who have the little light up nativity on there front lawns. These people know what Christmas means deep down inside even if they have forgotten him. Some times laying out the nativity is just a habit. When I was growing up, I vaguely remember a nativity, for when I was growing up, the focus was Santa, there were stuffed elves on our tree and we were told that they came to life and watched your every move so you better be good for goodness sake or Santa would not bring you what you asked for. There were no stories about Jesus birth, there were no stories of wise men and there gifts.

    It is so easy to forget the babe in the manager.

    My all time favorite Christmas show was The Little Drummer Boy. This child, once happy, loses his parents in a fire. He is bitter and angry against all people. His only friends are a sheep, a camel and a donkey. Erin, the little boy, plays a drum that his parents gave him for his birthday. He plays, and something happens, the animals dance. Well, Erin finds his way to the nearest town, the wise men needed his camel for the rest of the journey to Bethlehem. When Erin sees his friend, he runs to be reunited and his little sheep Ba,Ba,gets hit by a Romans horse and wagon and is killed. Erin is devastated, and he cries. Then he says to himself, the Wise men can help, so he brings his precious friend to one of the  wise men. He tells him he needs help, his friend is dead and can he bring him back to life. The wise man says, he cannot, but he knows one who can and he points to the baby in the manager. Erin walks over to where the babe is lying, he pears into his face and his heart is touched. Erin sees the gifts of others and says he has no gifts to give. He is inspired to play his drum for the babe, and he plays it with a pure broken heart. When he is finished, the babe smiles at him, Erin’s heart has melted from all the anger and bitterness he held inside, as he sees his little friend Ba,Ba bounce back to life.

    Jesus still has the power to change your life, to change the lives of those around you. Do not waist your time on things of this world this Christmas season. Jesus is the reason you are reading this message, He is the reason you are still breathing. What is it you hold dear to you this year? Is it your grandchildren, is it your dog, is it your son or daughter? If you have Jesus at your core, nothing that happens in your life will be without meaning.

    As this last month of the year quickly goes by, there will be much party making. There will be work Christmas parties, let me ask you ,who will still be alive when Christmas is over? Travel plans to places that have snow will be an issue , who will make it back from that trip?

    In a card sent to me by a dear friend for this Thanksgiving the front says this:

    God knows when the hours grow weary and patience is hard to come by. He feels every pain we experience, He sees every tear that we cry. So give HIM your hurts and your worries; He’s waiting each burden to share. He’ll strengthen, uplift and uphold you, and wrap you up warm in His care.

    Please make room for the Babe in the manager this year, take a closer look at your walk with Him. This year has been rough for many, including myself, but if we remember that God is with us no matter what then we can make it. Hope is not lost if we know who holds that hope. Our hearts will heal and spring will come alive with hope once again. The winter months , especially while you are mourning can be awfully long, but if we can focus on the loving God we serve we can make it through anything.

    What will be your gift to HIM this Christmas ? Will you give him your heart? Will you trust him again? Will you make room for Him in your life this year? He waits for you, and all the stars in Heaven point you to him as you pass those little nativities all lit up for the season. So when you are stuck in traffic, pause for a moment and look upon the babe in the manager, He Is Calling to You.

    REMEMBER ME WHEN THIS YOU SEE !

    Happy Birthday Jesus !

    This story, the true Christmas story, is a great way to start off your Christmas morning. Take some time this season, to start a new tradition; Put God first, read your family the story behind the real Christmas. God will bless your time. If you do not teach your children about Jesus who will? If you do not teach them, there future Christmas’s will become void of His birth and Santa will take over. You may give your children the best of everything, but not teaching them about the Lord will be the worst gift you could ever give. No skill learned will prosper without the Lord in it. Just look around you at this generation today. No GOD in school, even saying "MERRY CHRISTMAS" has been ordered to be changed to Happy Holidays, as not to offend anyone. Well, I think, every chance we get this season, we should say out loud, "MERRY CHRISTMAS"; Think of all the places you will go, library, verizon phone store, wal-mart, just think of how many lives you can touch with a simple, "MERRY CHRISTMAS". God can use any one at anytime to change the circumstances around us. Who knows if you have come to a time such as this, for just this season, to wish someone a ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS". You do not know if that person was thinking about suicide at the moment you said "MERRY CHRISTMAS". God could have used you to let that person know they are loved and that they matter. Lives change when GOD is in it !

    Luke 2

    And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.



    (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)



    And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.



    And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)



    To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.



    And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.



    And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.



    And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.



    And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.



    And the angel said unto them,

    Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.



    For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.



    And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.



    And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,



    Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.



    And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.



    And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.



    And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.



    And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.



    But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.



    And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.



    Always my love for you, 

     

    ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS "

     

    Leslie

    December 1, 2014

     

     


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Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Thank you for sharing, Leslie, that was a blessing <3. We also love to watch "White Christmas" each year, as well as "Holiday Inn" :).
March 1, 2015
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Lissy Verghese
Lissy Verghese Thank you for the beautiful post!
March 25, 2015