With Christmas only a few weeks away I thought it was a good time to talk about rejoicing. I also realize that at this time of year many of us are dealing with struggles and hardships that make rejoicing seem difficult at times. It is precisely the reason why we have to look deep into our hearts and focus on all the wonderful things that we can rejoice about today.
The more I talk to people this month the more I realize how much there is to be thankful for and to rejoice about. I have friends and acquaintances who have lost their jobs, are dealing with a sick parent or child, missing their loved ones who have passed, or are dealing with an illness of their own. But it is also these same people who somehow find the strength and conviction to rejoice in their imperfect lives.
So what is it you will rejoice during this holiday season? Is it the gifts under the tree you receive? Is it the gifts you give to those you love? Or is it the reason for the season and in my opinion the greatest gift of all: that our Lord gave us his only son who would provide for us eternal life. Perhaps the thing I rejoice about the most during this time of year is the opportunity to enjoy some quality time with my family. That is what is best about the Christmas season from the time I was a young boy to today having a family of my own. It is the one time of year where hopefully everybody can come together and enjoy some good quality family time. Even though not every Christmas can bring parents and brothers and sisters together when we all live in different cities or states, there is usually enough people to make the holidays special.
I love to rejoice and enjoy the Christmas season through the eyes of my children. It begins when we decorate the tree as I sit in my chair and watch them pull out each ornament and talk about what they mean and see the smiles on their faces. Then they hang their stockings on the fireplace and put out the decorations throughout the house. Then they see that a first present under the tree and the grin is from ear to ear as they try to guess what could be inside that package. The excitement builds day by day, week by week, until Christmas Day. Then we all can rejoice together on Jesus’s birthday exchanging gifts and soaking up the day together.
The point is we all have our crosses to bear. We all have heartaches, illnesses, and stresses that can monopolize our brain and our attitude and that is precisely why we must find the time to rejoice in our blessings. So take the time this holiday season to rejoice the little things as well as the big things that bring joy to your life. Hopefully like me, that includes some quality family time.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Years, and happy holidays to all!!!