I hate when I wake up in the middle of a dream, feeling lost and confused, not knowing where I am or where I have been. A few mornings ago I experienced just such an awakening. I dreamed that I was lost for what seemed hours and then, finally, found myself driving home to visit my parents. It was then that I felt my body heave an involuntary shudder as I remembered that Mom is gone, Dad’s days on this earth are probably short and the home I grew up in was sold three years ago. It was at that moment that the cold shudder of feeling lost and alone gripped my heart.
Trusting in God’s Goodness has kept me steady even as:I have fought tears back when I have seen something Mom would have liked . . . when thinking of Dad alone and confused in a strange place . . . realizing that what was . . . has been lost forever.
The temptation to separate myself from the festivities of Christmas–knowing that Christmas will never be the same–has been especially difficult. Yet it is in those moments of suffering profound loss, that God has faithfully shepherded my heart with these verses:” . . . the people living in darkness have seen a great Light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a Light has dawned.” Matthew 4:16 “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5
Even as despair has threatened I have been greatly comforted in remembering that,
No matter how dark life may appear, Christ’s Light dispels darkness like nothing else can.
Daily, He has drawn me into the Light of His Love, filling my heart to overflowing . . . not with a Christmas carol, but with the comfort of God’s boundless Grace in saving the lost:Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, but now I see. T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear. And Grace, my fears relieved. How precious did that Grace appear The hour I first believed. Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come;’ Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far and Grace will lead me home.
As the Celebration of Christ’s Coming draws ever closer, God has faithfully spared me further heartache with the wondrous truth that God came down to seek and save the lost–you and me! Jesus taught in parables about God’s pursuit of lost things in Luke 15. I especially love the picture He painted as the love of a father was poured out when his son returned home:
” Bring the fatted calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.‘ So they began to celebrate.” (verses 23-24)
If you find yourself struggling this Christmas . . . give thanks that you are not alone and lean into to the Light of His Love–He is so very worthy of our trust!
Yesterday I was able to talk to my dad on the phone for the first time since having to leave him in early November. He is still very sick but there was Joy in his voice, so very grateful to be back in his apartment for Christmas. Many thanks to those of you who have asked about and prayed for my dad. Merry Christmas!
Rejoicing in Him Always!