I guess you could say Christmas came at just the right time this year. We are in an "in between" phase of our lives right now. Things are unsettled, up in the air, big question marks all around. We've got dreams and vague outlines of plans, but nothing is fully formed or clear.
And it's a hard place to be. It's exciting and full of hope. But it also requires a lot of patience. I empathize with my 4-year-old who told me today that he just doesn't have patience. (We were talking about how hard it is to wait to open Christmas gifts).
But then Christmastime came around and I decorated my very temporary-feeling apartment. Suddenly the addition of a beautiful tree, lights, and special trinkets made me feel much more comfortable and much more home.
It's such a joyful time of year. (As a disclaimer, I know that it can also be a very difficult time of year for many of us...yet even in the midst of that, I believe we can find joy because Jesus Christ is WITH us!). Driving with my kids in the back of the car, listening to my favorite Christmas music, and seeing beautiful lights on so many houses, I just feel such a sense of joy and uplifted spirits. And that is just what I needed right now. I needed to find and to be reminded of joy.
There can be joy in the waiting, in the uncertainty, in the hope deferred...because we already know that all of our greatest and most important hopes (being loved, being wanted, salvation, heaven) are fulfilled and will be fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The Bible talks about "an endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 1.3). We can hope in Him with a hope that we know will be fulfilled and that is why we can have joy in the much much smaller uncertainties that may surround us here on earth.
May you find joy this Christmas season. Joy that transcends your current life stage. Joy that is stronger than any difficulties you are in the middle of. Joy that comes from a God Who gives "every good and perfect gift." And may you take the time to just revel in that joy a little bit. Because it's a good, good gift.