This. This wrecked Christmas Tree. This is totally a picture of my year.
From the star that looks like it crashed into the tree at the top to the lights falling off at the bottom (probably due to a cat fight underneath), from the whole thing leaning to the right to the middle string of lights that burned out a few days before Christmas, this tree has been my year.
The year started with my daughter spending a heart wrenching week in the hospital, and it ended with the heart breaking end of my 27 year marriage. Yeah, I have felt a lot like this tree. Listing sideways with burned out lights. Not quite sure whether I was going to make it or not.
But you know what, the star is still burning brightly on the top, and there are wonderful presents waiting underneath. Maybe it’s not perfect, but there’s still light and life in this thing. A whole lot of Light and Life. Because you see, the Light in the star and the Life in the presents don’t come from the tree itself. No, the Light and Life of the Christmas tree come from somewhere else entirely.
The Life and the Light in me don’t come from me either. They are the Gift that came 2000 years ago in the form of a Baby. Immanuel. God with us. I love that name of Christ. Because as Feri Basci said to me many years ago in Romania, “When you are most alone, Christ is with you.”
In that Gift of Immanuel, there is the promise of a future. Because of Christmas, because of Immanuel, Light and Life surround me and fill me and I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever be alone.
The tree may be a wreck on the surface, but reality is that there is a Hope and a future of Light and Life, and it is good. I am looking forward to it.
II Corinthians 4:6-11 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.II Corinthians 5:4-5 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened – not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
Romans 5:1-5 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our suffering, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.Hebrews 13:5 … be content with what you have, for He has said, “I will not, I will not cease to sustain and uphold you. I will not, I will not, I will not let you down.”
“In my deepest wound I found you, Lord, and it dazzled me.” St. Augustine
©Rebecca A Givens, 12/31/14