The approaching holiday season with Thanksgiving and Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. I am reminded of childhood times at my grandparents homes, spending time with cousins, the aromas of all the food and the laughter that filled the air. I am reminded of Christmas concerts, church socials and Christmas morning around the tree.

Of my Daddy sitting in his recliner sipping coffee and watching us with merriment in his eyes.

Of my first Christmas with my husband as we unwrapped all of our wedding gifts…we had been married just a few short weeks and it was such a glorious first Christmas together.

Blue Christmas…

For some though this time of year is especially painful because of the reminders of loved ones lost. It may be painful because of recent diagnosis of illness, recent lost jobs, homes or divorce. It may not feel like the most wonderful time of the year to them.

Whatever the loss, I am reminded of Matthew 5:4 – God hears and will comfort you. It is promised.

Bah Humbug…

Still others may fret over this time of year because of all of the busyness that often accompanies it. Parties at the kids’ schools, parties at work, the neighborhood block party, presents to buy, Secret Santa, Black Friday lines, UGH! They may simply feel like they are slogging through and cannot wait for it all to just be over with.

If this is you friend, let these words bear you up:  God is waiting to provide rest for you…be still. Listen. Set aside time in the busyness to just be with Him.

There you will find peace in this season. Matthew 11:28 assures us of this.

Comfort and Joy

Regardless of where you fall in this spectrum, giddy with anticipation for the season, sorrowful from your losses, or agitated before it even begins…God is here to comfort you…to bring peace and joy where there is none.

We cannot manufacture this on our own…we need Him in us to bring that peace which surpasses all understanding.

Even for those of us who are excited about the impending holidays, we must not get swept up in the glitz and glimmer of lights, tinsel and bows.

It is the child in the manger which should have us shouting for joy!  It is His presence that should leave us in awe. For He is who we are celebrating…enjoy your family, friends, parties and presents. But please don’t forget the greatest gift that truly makes this the most wonderful time of the year!

Ammie Senn