Christmas is Bigger Than Your Opinion Of It

catIt was during a December that my family fell apart.

I do appreciate that the blow had enough grace to wait until the 27th before coming out of nowhere, but is there really ever a “good time” for such things to happen?

Anything that’s ever harmed family tends to feel highlighted, called out, by the approach of Christmas. The season has a way of reminding you of what you’ve lost (or never had to begin with). I know what it’s like to rely on the charity and love of non-family during the holidays (for which I’m very grateful), to struggle with the emotions, to feel left out of the joy because you’re dealing with things that (it seems like) nobody else is.

So I’m the last person to tell anyone to “just get over it and celebrate”.

That’s not my approach at all. The Bible defends, even celebrates, our grace-given ability to honestly approach the throne of God with our pain, fear, and disappointment. Psalms is full of it. Jeremiah vents to God even though he knows exactly why God is inflicting his nation. Even Jesus does not try to hide his sweat and blood from his Father. He cares about our hearts. He has big shoulders. He will always listen to our tears.

BUT.

But.

Sometimes, I think, there are days when a swift kick in my own butt really is warranted.

For years, I’ve held what you could describe as an annoyance towards the holidays. I loved the meaning of it all, but all that stuff – the Advent, the promise of Christ, family – can be enjoyed 365 days a year.

But it occurred to me a couple years ago that I might be seriously underballing the power of that meaning. The manger pointed to the cross. The cross pointed to the empty tomb. Victory over all suffering, and the wiping away of all tears, has been secured. It is coming. Though sorrow may last for the night, joy comes in the morning.

Does my life ever reflect that? My attitude?

I’m learning to find a balance between mourning and morning. I have come to believe that there are times for us to grieve and times to give Jesus credit for being bigger than our disappointments. Perhaps there are days – not every day, but some – when just taking a deep breath and thrusting aside the weight of the world is appropriate. Even holy.

It makes a good defense against self-pity, which grief can quickly and subtly slip into.

It makes a marvelous defense against despair, something the enemy is only too happy to twist our disappointment into.

It lifts our eyes to the horizon, to the second coming of Christ, no longer a babe in a manger but a reigning King.

Perhaps this would be a good exercise for you this season, if you find yourself cynical and bitter towards the holiday. Try taking a day and dedicating your attitude towards God’s superiority and victory over your travails. Just a day. Though he graciously accepts Where We Are, the fact remains that only the cross and the empty tomb really matter in the end. Without that, we are more to be pitied than any man. With it, we are more than conquerors. Our hope is immutable. Our God is incredible.

That’s why I bought my first Christmas tree last year, and why I will do so again this weekend.

Find solace and comfort in God. But remember also that he is bigger.

30 thoughts on “Christmas is Bigger Than Your Opinion Of It

  1. Morning Brandon, great insights. This spoke to my heart: “I’m learning to find a balance between mourning and morning. I have come to believe that there are times for us to grieve and times to give Jesus credit for being bigger than our disappointments. Perhaps there are days – not every day, but some – when just taking a deep breath and thrusting aside the weight of the world is appropriate. Even holy.” Facing some “Abram” changes in our life, so your words are timely. Prayers appreciated, Brother!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Pingback: Another Powerful Post from Brandon Adams | Robin Luftig

  3. Brandon –

    Everyone who has ever dealt with pain, guilt, or a serious case of “shoulda’s” needs to read your posts. There is a world waiting that offers hope … and you share that very well. Merry Christmas, my online friend. May you experience all the blessings that God has waiting for you.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow. This really hit home with me this morning. My family fell apart right before Christmas several years ago. Sometimes I still don’t think I’m “over” it (do we ever REALLY get over it?), but I put my entire life and everything that goes along with it in His capable hands. Thank you for being a reminder, as the holiday season approaches.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m really sorry about what happened to your family. God certainly brings healing and strength from such things; he certainly gets you looking forward again; but I don’t know if we ever put it fully behind us until the next life (which is probably the point of the next life!). May God continue to heal you and yours.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is good, Brandon. I’ve been feeling disappointed this month at how our family changed by our kids divorces. How it alters our celebrations. But then today I spent time praying for others. My whole attitude shifted as I sat before his throne. I realized prayer keeps my thoughts on Him and off me. That is breakthrough! So keep writing truth for our God IS bigger!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This is awesome:) I too have struggled with discontentment during the holidays – never being satisfied with the gifts I receive, not understanding how everybody around me can have so much joy during the season while a dysfunctional and hard things are happening in the world all around us. Yet, I am refreshed to have been reminded of the true meaning of Christmas and the incredible power it has. This world is not our home, and we have Jesus to thank for that.

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  7. No point in replying to your Message Brandon as you ignore my Comments but My wishes for you and for your Loved ones this Christmas are for Treasures great and small and as we remember Jesus as our Special Gift above all to Cherish, His Love, Joy and Peace are His Gifts for us that never depart when kept in our Heart.

    “Christ”mas and New Year Blessings,
    Anne ( Grannie Annie )

    Liked by 1 person

      • You have not replied to my Comments for a lot longer than a couple of weeks Brandon this is why I no longer follow you but you could be worse some delete my Comments when they don’t agree with me without Scriptural confirmation I’m in error its just what they think or others have told them instead of Trusting our only Spiritual Teacher Jesus and asking God for His Wisdom and Empowering by The Holy Spirit which none of us were Born with, He tells us He will give them to us if we ask and He does not Lie.

        Blessings – Anne.

        Like

  8. Hey, this is an amazing post! Short and to the point. However, it speaks volumes. This holiday season was pretty tough for me to get into the spirit and I had to take a moment to realize like your title says – it is bigger than my opinion of it. When you remember what you are actually celebrating and not what the world is displaying as the true meaning of it, you become grateful and find joy in that exactly!

    Liked by 2 people

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