Don't get me wrong....I love Christmas, or at least I want to. I get excited around Thanksgiving to put up the tree, and I start humming along with Christmas carols on the radio WAY too early for those around me. I love what Christmas means, and I love so much about the day - but about two weeks before the big day, my mood takes a definite turn south and no amount of hot chocolate or feel-good movies seem to help...not even if the hot chocolate has marshmallows.
The other day was especially difficult. The "Christmas funk" hit earlier than normal and I just sat in my chair over my morning coffee and cried. Not soft tears either - big, fat, ugly red eyed tears....for no good reason. Then, I did the only thing I could do - I finished my coffee, wiped my face and got into the shower to get ready for work. No time for sorrow. There was much to be done. Besides, I had no reason to be sad. I reminded myself that I am truly blessed. (I will admit, this stern talking to did nothing to improve my mood, but it did get me to work on time.)
Then, the very next day, I happened to see a post from a friend on facebook talking about the sadness some people feel this time of year and I went out on a limb and admitted that for no good reason, I sometimes struggle with Christmas. (Who am I kidding - sometimes? It's become a yearly event!) Then someone commented and asked a simple question - "Why?" I surprised myself that I knew the answer and that it was as simple as the question. I struggle because at Christmas, more than any other time of the year, I realize just how much I fail and how woefully inadequate I am.
Now before you think, "Wow, Donna is really having herself a pity party!", hear me out. This is not some false humility or plea for affirmation. It is actually a very practical reality. I am not enough. None of us is, and at Christmas, God said "I know," and sent His Son to be more than enough for us.
This is a tough pill to swallow for someone who takes pride in doing things herself. I take personal responsibility to make sure the things around me run as smoothly as possible. I try so hard to make everybody "happy" - but sometimes I hit the wall and realize, I just am not enough. Not strong enough, rich enough, wise enough, patient enough....need I go on?
Now that I think about it, maybe the tears I shed over my coffee that morning were actually a gift. I have been given the gift of realizing I simply am not enough. At Christmas I feel this most keenly, and perhaps that is because it helps me come back to the place where I truly realize, I need a Savior.
Christmas might be the most wonderful time of year for you, or perhaps, like me, it is a time when you meet face to face your inadequacies. Maybe Christmas is filled with the perfect gifts and decorations and celebrations, or maybe despite your best efforts, it's filled with unmet expectations and broken dreams. If it seems to be more of the latter, I guess we can stop and give thanks. For when we are weakest, His strength shows forth most clearly. We are not enough....so God sent His Son.
Merry Christmas my friends. Merry Christmas.
Isaiah 9:6-7 (NKJV)
6 For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.