One thing I love during the fall and winter is seeing lights. Some are very bright and some are rather dim, low lights and some are candles. Either way, they are beautiful! I’ve been thinking of this as it pertains to our life, especially during the holidays. Some years have been bright and cheerful. Some years have been darker, harder to see joy from pain. They are calmer. Sometimes candles are present at sad times. Other times they are used at quiet times, some of which are romantic. Even in more difficult times, with the beautiful light from candles, God can bring about the best through showing His presence and by using us to be a light to brighten another persons life!
In Bright or Dim Lights – Let’s See Him!
When the lights are bright, it seems that everyone is happy and circumstances are working out great. We have lots of fun and excitement. I found myself jealous this year, wanting what I see other people have. My husband reminded me though of a message our pastor gave a few months ago, that I have a problem known as ” FOMO- Fear of Missing Out”! I don’t like missing out! Adapting to change, is another struggle I find difficult. It upsets me when I want traditions and circumstances to stay the same. I want to enjoy and recreate memories from the past but with new family members such as grandchildren. I would say that the lights were quite dim at first during this Thanksgiving holiday. Daniel is good though in reminding me what I have. The lights glowed brighter because of him!
Sometimes though, circumstances are tough and seem dark. During this week of Thanksgiving, where we should give thanks for what we have, it seems so difficult to be thankful for the hard, painful things that happened in our life. Finding joy seems very impossible to us. It is tough when we experience hurt right now. Should we still be thankful regardless?
I believe, looking deep. we can always find something to be thankful for. We realize that others don’t have what we have. It seems like a more difficult task though to figure out what we really have that we can thank God for. Lots of fake smiles appear as well as pretending and looking like everything is just fine, are very common.
Comfort in the Low Lights
We know though that our Savior loves us dearly and He is close to the brokenhearted. He is available for us to call on us even on the stormy days, when we see others celebrating. and we know that we have celebrated in the past. I viewed holidays for many years, as a time that is cheerful. These times aren’t always cheerful though. I know of people who grieve from loss during and around the holidays. It really throws a wrench in how holidays would normally be celebrated. We remember from then on, that specific holiday and the hurt we felt.
He still loves us even when we don’t see and understand why things have happened and when we can’t make sense of what we are going through. The God of all comfort is available for us to be close to, even in the most difficult of times.
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, He is the faithful God , keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments.Deuteronomy 7:9 NIV
Battling with the Lights
If you are hurting for any reason, during this time of year, please know that our God loves you, despite circumstances. He wants you to turn to Him. Remember Him, He knows that we are broken and He wants to comfort you. “He knows the sorrow and the hurt” ( Mercy Me song “Even If).
He sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety.Job 5:11 NKJV
I found myself battling over which light I should embrace this year. I knew I should be full of joy and thanksgiving, but I also felt down. What do I do with this pain and discouragement? Is this really how I should be at this time? Do other people hurt too ? I often wonder how they are really doing.
Listening to music really helps me. Music first reminds me of what I should be doing, praising Him in the middle of dark circumstances. It also encourages me through the message I hear. Below is a list of songs that have been an encouragement to me lately, especially in this last week.
- Once And For All song – Lauren Daigle
- Spirit Lead Me – Michael Ketterer
- Yes I will – Vertical Worship
- Event When it Hurts – Hillsong
- Even If – Mercy Me
- Thy Will Be Done – Hillary Scott
- I Can Only Imagine – Mercy Me
- You’re Gonna Be Ok – Brian and Jenn Johnson
- Is He Worthy – Chris Tomlin
- Symphony – Switch
- Give Me Faith-Elevation Worship
Identifying with the Light
I really do understand, maybe not for all of the exact reasons you may have. I have had some heavy circumstances this year. My heart is burdened for several reasons. Though I don’t understand what God is doing, I know that He does have reasons beyond what I can see.
Be A Light
Going through tough times doesn’t make sense to us, but God can use us to help others in the middle of tough times in their life, if we allow Him to use us. Check out my previous blog here about some folks who we can encourage. If we are sensitive to other people and what they are going through. I know that I have hope through my relationship with Him. I Can Only Imagine!
Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.2 Corinthians 1:3-4 HCSB
Your post spoke to my heart. Thank you.
I’m so glad! Thankful when I know my writing is having an impact! Thank you!
Yes, God is working through you!
I can definitely relate to what you’ve written here and FOMO. I think a lot of people can nowadays.
I come from a very large family, and holiday gatherings were magical to me as a child. We had to cook meals for 30+ people. The planning was intense and fun and truly a family-wide effort. You received an immense haul of gifts because everyone brought you something (usually hand-made crafts or things picked up from antique stores). Everyone knew what your hobbies were or what you collected, so they were on the lookout for that thing they knew you would love. Cousins played games in the street and would recruit neighborhood kids and their young relatives to play.
I now live on the other side of the country and hardly see my extended family at all. I miss those years less for myself than for my daughter. Now whenever holiday dinner conversation turns to “come on, just admit that the president is a Russian puppet and everyone in your party is a ruthless bigot,” I roll my eyes, because it is a painfully stupid topic that I am tired to my bones of hearing, but I also feel something worse. I feel like something important has been irretrievably lost and I just want to go home. I don’t want our daughter to look back on Christmas and think “wow, the adults were such jerks to each other.” Imagine that kind of nastiness being the last things you remember about your relatives. And you know kids remember everything about their formative years.
But I think you are giving excellent advice here… In our household, we have a rule (year-round) that whenever you have a spectacularly bad day, you should turn it around by performing a random act of kindness. You spend the rest of the day thinking about how great a day someone else is having because you happened to cross paths. My parents, whom have had a string of unfortunate events around the holidays in recent years, adopted a family where the father is in prison. So they’ve been out shopping for his kids, and they are wrapping all the gifts and tagging them with “Merry Christmas! Love, Dad.” They’ve been having a blast picking out things from the kids’ wish list. Sometimes all you need to be happy is a radically new tradition. God uses the bad stuff to help you organize your desires. It’s easy to think things are all about you when you are comfortable.
Thank you for your comment! I’m so glad that my post is meaningful and encouraging! I hope you have a special time this year with your family! I understand the difficult times for sure though! God bless you!
Great points, my bestie!! Love you!!