Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.Philippians 4:9
“Mom! We have to have a Christmas tree and lights!” My daughter scolded when she heard my comment that I didn’t feel like putting up all the decorations. I understood her need to keep family traditions. We all wanted things to be the same… but of course, they couldn’t be without our Elizabeth. It seemed ironic to me that we were celebrating the birth of a child while I was mourning the death of my child.
Perhaps you also struggle with the memory of happy past Christmases which can never be again. A deep loss has changed those scenes forever. You are not alone. And God Himself has promised to be with you even through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4). The shadow of the cross loomed over Jesus at His birth (Luke 2:34-35), so He understands our mixed emotions.
We can still find reasons to rejoice. Surprisingly, the Apostle Paul does not tell us to just think happy thoughts. From a dark prison cell he reminded us to ponder things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable—all fulfilled in Jesus!
Pray about everything, and the peace of God will guard your heart in Christ Jesus.