Christmas Wishes

Merry Christmas, friends!

This morning, as I finished the last day of an Advent study I've been doing with a precious group of women (through Good Morning Girls), I was thinking this morning that we often have such high hopes for Christmas - we want it to be a magical day full of joy and laughter and great fellowship, and I think we place on it our hope that for just one day everything in our life will be perfect. 

Even if we spend the whole Advent season studying and focusing on Christ, and have tried to de-emphasize the materialism and commercialism as much as possible, we still put a lot of emphasis on this day and can't help but have high expectations for how it will feel when it gets here, and hoping that the joy and bliss we experience on Christmas will meet a need in our hearts. 

And while I definitely hope and pray that all of you have wonderfully peaceful and enjoyable days today - I know that many will find themselves in the midst of tough family dynamics or confronted once again with loss that makes your heart ache. Strained relationships and dirty laundry are often brought out into the open at Christmas time. Many have suffered the great loss of loved ones and can hardly handle the grief, and others are so far away from family that the day seems to lack any luster at all because they miss loved ones so badly. 

And others will simply find that what they hoped Christmas would feel like, and what it actually felt like just don't measure up. Not that it wasn't a great day filled with fun and great food and family time, but it just didn't have the sparkle that they had anticipated. For some of us, it might be the best Christmas EVER, and yet something in our hearts will be a tiny bit disappointed when we go to bed tonight. 

As I was wrestling with this issue, the Lord spoke to me that our great hopes for how Christmas will feel are really just a longing in our hearts for what Heaven will be like.

And so everything we try to create here on earth will fall short of that perfection in His presence we long for. 

We long for there to not be any sadness or pain or heartache. 
While we are on earth it is inescapable, 
but in Heaven He promises there will be no more tears, or pain, heartache, or sadness! 

Every hurt and loss will be fully healed and restored when we are in the presence of Jesus. 
The glory that is awaiting us cannot even be compared to the suffering we experience here on earth (Rom. 8:18)

So take heart! 
Enjoy this day with the full awareness that the longing we have for a perfectly magical Christmas full of joy, love, hope, and peace is just a glimpse in our hearts of what we have coming! 
For those who are in Christ - we have the most wonderful, glorious celebrations of Christmas ahead of us, 
when we are able to worship our Jesus face-to-face in the most perfect way. The Lord has given us this longing on purpose - so that we would begin to desire Heaven more than this life. (Hebrews 11:16)

No matter what you're facing today, wonderful and fun, or not -  
your heart is reminding you that the best celebrations are ahead!