The Pain of Christmas

“But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.”
(Isaiah 53:5)

For years (way before my son passed away), I’ve tried to remind people that special times of the year, like Christmas, are not only joyful, but painful to many because it reminds them of loved ones no longer here. Since death is a part of life, what do we do with the pain of Christmas?

Author, Randall Cunningham, writes:

Pain says, “Don’t get up. Just lie here awhile.”Pain’s voice is loud, perhaps the loudest voice you’ll hear in your life. When [you] feel the pain, your mind and soul become tethered to doubt, anxiety, apprehension, and fear. The reality of the hit makes your head ring and immediately your mind begins to bend inward….When that hit comes to you, what will you do?”

Because of mankind’s failure in Eden (recorded in Genesis 3), pain is in the very fabric of human life. And if the story ended there life would be hopeless. Satan’s plan was pain.

But God had other plans.

God took what Satan believed was a clever “checkmate move” against mankind and turned it on its head – driving a stake into the heart of the dragon….a stake in the form of a cross.

Because this is true, when pain takes its best shot this Christmas we can ruthlessly trust in Him “on whom was laid the [pain] of us all.” (Isaiah 53:11)

Merry Christmas, St. Nick

Where Is God When It Hurts?

When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into the furnace in Daniel 3, Nebuchadnezzar asked, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?….But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.”

That “fourth” man was the pre-incarnate Christ.

Jesus doesn’t wait for us on the other side of our pain. God (Immanuel) is with us in our “furnace.”

nw