Picture milky sunlight barely breaking through on a cloudy day. The glimmer of the sun’s rays work hard to shine brightly while gray clouds work harder to dispel them. In this snapshot hope seems lost.

The holiday season can look like milky sunlight ready for its big break. You sense a drifting through the days while still participating in all the holiday activities because that is what is expected. You look around and catch the joy on everyone’s face and wonder “where is my joy”? The picture before you leaves you unsatisfied. You begin searching for hope in the holidays while a quiet niggling says it is futile. Next, you create a mental list with a reality check of this holiday season. The list begins like this…

What if…

This year you have a grief-washed soul. A piece of your heart is missing and the emptiness feels immense.

You’re overworked and overwhelmed. Your job is stressful plus the family commitments filling up your calendar leave no whitespace to just breathe.

The holidays typically knock the wind out of you rather than fill you with joy.

Your future is uncertain as you search for a new job. Finances are tight and Christmas cheer comes at a cost.

Where is the hope in a season that proclaims peace, hope and joy? How will you find hope in the middle of a hopeless season? Who or what brings you joy?

Then this promise comes across your path as you turn to God’s Word.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

In this season of waiting, preparing and seeking, one glimpse of hope leads to another. The “what ifs” turn into “now what” and hope is born.

God prepared a way in the wilderness of our hearts for a Savior to be born. When despair filled the emptiness, God sent love in the form of a baby. Hope came one night in a stable when Jesus was born to the Virgin Mary and her betrothed, Joseph. When nothing seems to be happening, everything is happening. God loves us so much that He sent His only son. Hope is reigning down as love and life is never the same again.

Any doubt of the Father’s love disappeared the night God was wrapped in barnyard towels so the hay wouldn’t scratch his back. Max Lucado

This season as we prepare the way for the Lord, we can rest ourselves in the truth that Emmanuel will be among us.

May we hold onto the hope found in a baby born one silent night. May these words and song bless you as you prepare the way for Jesus this Christmas season.

Rejoice, again, I say, rejoice
For unto us is born the Savior of the world
Take heart, oh weary soul, take heart
For help is on its way
And Holy is His name  Matt Maher

Walking in hope,

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