Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I've been thinking about Christmas. Usually, Christmas is a time of gift making, cookie baking, shopping, decorating, planning the big meal, sending out cards, Christmas concerts, and hectic schedules.

This year, for us, things are a bit different. Our family is suffering through the trials of life.....not just our "immediate"family, but our extended family as well. In each family, there is a trial. A death, a difficult pregnancy, a chronic illness, an impending move, financial struggles, life adjustments. It's all there. And, for me, Christmas isn't looking like the fun family holiday it has been in the past.

Sure, we've decorated, and the meal is planned, I'm even attending a Christmas get together with my quilting friends....but Christmas isn't the sparkle and sunshine time it once was. I am not alone. We know so many who are suffering, and usually, this time of year causes us to reflect on what we do have and to give to those in need. They are all around us. Maybe "they" are you find yourself in need this Christmas season? Maybe, if we really think about it, we all have needs, some of which we never share with others.

I suppose what we all need is a dose of JOY...not fleeting happiness, not a fun time for one night, not another trinket or toy to add to our collection, but genuine JOY.

How can we find JOY this year, in spite of difficulty, in spite of the needs we see all around us? How can we find something that brings joy to our heart and puts a song in our heart? There is only one place....

As the old Christmas hymn states:

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

JOY to the WORLD, the LORD is come! JOY can only be found in arms of the Christ-child. Jesus is JOY!

Matthew 1:23 reads, "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."

This Christmas, my focus will be on Jesus. In Him alone, I can find JOY. God with us, JESUS Himself, JESUS alone.....

This Christmas Season may you be reminded of His presence, GOD WITH US.
May you find the JOY of JESUS.

Joy is not the absence of suffering. It is the presence of God. - Robert Schuller

Any one can sing in the sunshine. You and I should sing on when the sun has gone down, or when clouds pour out their rain, for Christ is with us. - Anon.


Diane said...

You have such a beautiful way of saying just what I need to hear. I love you.

Lindah said...

Beautiful post, Paula! Thank you. I, too, have noticed a little less "sparkle and shine" in faces this year. I think, too, I am seeing just a bit more emphasis on and searching for the reality of Christmas. I think that is a healthy sign. Joy doesn't come from jingle bells; it comes from Jesus.

Wishing you real joy this Christmas,
Linda H

Hannah B. said...

His joy cannot be hid. Seek it, and it Will be found...for, He is faithful.
Jehovah bless you! I love ya, ma'am!