Or maybe not.  I am not the the first to blog about the difficulty of the holiday season.  Some people are saddened about who or what they have lost or what they never even had.  It is easy to think that everyone is having more fun than you especially if you compare social media post.

The last few years, I have struggled with getting into the Christmas mood.  Between moving, health issues, house construction, and moving again, Christmas feels different than my memories.  My first miscarriage and my first seizure also happened between Christmas and New Years.

But despite my feelings, the truth is Immanuel come to be with us. That is something to celebrate, but something we don’t feel like celebrating.

I could be a little help and quote 1 Thessalonians 5:16 “Rejoice always,” but I don’t like to take commands out of context.  “Rejoice always” is in a list of final instructions that also include:

  • Respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you
  • To esteem them very highly in love because of their work
  • Be at peace among yourselves
  • Admonish the idle
  • Encourage the fainthearted
  • Help the weak
  • Be patient with them all
  • See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone
  • Pray without ceasing
  • Give thanks in all circumstances
  • Do not quench the Spirit
  • Do not despise prophecies,
  • Test everything; hold fast what is good.
  • Abstain from every form of evil.

And after this list, we are told that the God of peace with sanctify us and make us blameless. God “who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it” (verse 24).”

I can not do this list by myself including “rejoice always.” But God doesn’t expect me to do it by myself. I am a work in process. With his gifts and with his healing, I trust God to bring his joy into my life.

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