Christmas in Dark Decembers

I awoke this morning to bad news in a voicemail message: The fiancé of a widow who was to be married today died suddenly last night.



How do you digest news like that? And in light of God’s sovereignty, how do you explain it?


December is supposed to be a month of joyful Christmas celebration. But there are many, including this dear lady, whose tears are not of joy. The media tells us of countless others weeping with sorrow this Christmas season: mothers whose sons were killed by police. Parents whose children were shot by angry gunmen. Loved ones of hostages murdered by terrorists. Families of people who died in a plane crash or a landslide. I could go on and on, but you’ve seen the news. And you know the coworker, the church member, the neighbor, the relative.


You know your own heart’s sorrow.


Yet into a dark winter night like this one the angels sang a song of hope, the new star blazed with its message of light. Into a cold and smelly stable, next to animals, a newborn cried for the first time.


His cry calls to the world’s sorrow-filled hearts. As a grown man, He cried at the tomb of a friend. He cried overlooking a city whose people rejected Him as Savior. And on the cross, He cried a sinner’s eternal agony as one forsaken by a holy, perfect God, even though He Himself never sinned.


Jesus took all that pain for us. He came for times such as these, to do what only He can do: restore relationship with our Father God, heal our broken hearts, and provide hope that endures through life’s deepest pain. In dark Decembers, when joy and happiness seem far from view, reaching out to Jesus for help, for sustenance, and for life, is the only answer.


And it is the best way—the only way—for each of us to truly experience the peace on earth that the angels promised that first Christmas night.


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