Years ago I would begin my Christmas wish list on December 26th, if I was late. If I was on-time I’d begin it on the blustery cold evening of December 25. I can still picture it. Gifts had been opened, played with, read, set aside for the big Christmas dinner. The world was bathed in the blue light of a winter evening, everything is quiet and still, hushed almost. And I would start to dream.
Most of what my list comprised of was the gifts I had wanted but not received that Christmas. All through the year I would edit and revise my list. I would change some of it into a birthday wish list, and then turn it back into a Christmas list.
Like everyone, I was very well acquainted with disappointment at Christmas. I knew the sting of not getting what I wanted and thought I desperately needed.
We all know exactly what our heart needs to feel secure and content. We know what we must have to be happy. When Christmas day, or any day, passes by and yet again we are denied what we desperately need, we feel the sting of hopelessness and loss all over again.
We can feel the anger rising within us. We hear the whispered voices in our heads that beat out a cadence of “you’re not accepted! you’re not loved. you’re not enough.” And we begin to believe it all over again.
We have no hope and we’re sure there is no hope for us. We longingly read the verses that talk about hope and we think, “well, that’s nice. Someone has hope.” We might even dare to think, “I hope I can believe this is for me some day.” We are quick to share the hope with someone else who struggles to believe the hope is for them. All the while we reject it for ourselves.
We try to stop expecting anything for Christmas. We tuck away our greatest desires where no one can see, and we silently weep for what we need. We do not have hope. We say we don’t need it but we do. Oh how we need hope.
And hope does not disappoint, because the love of GOD has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.Romans 5:5
How can that be? How can it be true that hope doesn’t disappoint when we so often feel incredibly disappointed? We feel disappointed by people. They don’t act the way we want, or think they should, they aren’t there for us when we think we need them, they don’t deliver on our expectations.
We also feel disappointed by Jesus. He doesn’t deliver what we thought He would. He doesn’t deliver on our time schedule. We thought something was a sure thing from Him but it didn’t happen. Our expectations weren’t met. He let us down. He promised freedom and we’re still wrapped in chains, enslaved to our expectations.
We still deal with strongholds and the holidays can bring them out en masse. The rest of the year might be pretty smooth, but the holidays are rough and bumpy. So how do we deal with them, those arrows others throw at us, arrows of their expectations, arrows of our own expectations? Are we just doomed to a pain-filled holiday? Is there hope for joy this month?
YES! Yes there is hope! As long as we have breath and Jesus lives in us (which by the way is forever), there is hope. We still must rely fully on Jesus as we respond to life’s bumps and body slams.
We have the option to choose joy, choose hope, why? Because the Love of God has been poured out in our hearts. We can choose to live loved because we are loved.
You are loved with an ever-lasting, never dying, never ending love. Maybe you’ve been disappointed with love, maybe your love has been rejected, maybe you’ve been rejected by one you thought would love you forever.
Dear reader, please know you are loved by Someone who will love you forever! His love will never disappoint, His hope lives in you through His Life and His Holy Spirit.