Life is full of ups and downs. That’s what I’ve learned in my 45 years on this planet. Today is my birthday and one of the gifts I decided to give myself was the gift of writing. I love to write, but I don’t have much time for it these days. That’s okay. The older I get (which is now pretty old) the more I realize that everything happens in stages. Seasons come and go. And life, in these changes and seasons, can be pretty beautiful.
Yesterday, however, I grew a little misty-eyed thinking about the ups and downs of life. As I was driving down the road, listening to Christmas music, I thought about my mom who passed away in December several years ago. I thought about how much I miss her and wish she was still with us. Tears formed in my eyes and rolled down my cheeks-tears of mourning. But that mourning wasn’t just over the loss of Mom. It was over the fallen state of our world and the darkness that seems to overwhelm..
Every day, we live with so much sorrow and joy, pain and delight, triumph and defeat. All of it gets mixed together and I guess I just was overwhelmed with the idea that life can be so beautiful and dark, and cold and hopeful all at the same time. I guess that’s why we refer to so many moments in life as bittersweet.
I guess I marveled, too, at the thought that God can still preserve hope in a world that seems so hopeless at times. Who but a merciful, powerful God could make a world that has seen so much tragedy still have its shining glorious moments of triumph?
After all, isn’t that what this season of Christmas is all about? How one little light shining in this world can bring us home, can make us hopeful, can fill us with joy. So yes, life is bittersweet. There’s no getting around that, but for all the hard things in life I can count a million other reasons to be thankful. I hope that you can, too.
Whatever darkness you’re facing this season, know that it really will be okay. There is hope for even the darkest of nights you find yourself in. Hold on to that hope, look to that light, no matter how dim it might seem. Find joy and beauty, and most of all the strength to carry on. Christmas hope, joy and peace be yours in abundance this season, my friends. ‘Til next time.
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