So, what do you do at 5 in the morning, after a whole night of not sleeping? Besides wanting to tear your hair out and scream, I mean. When you're too frustrated to stay in bed trying in vain to "trick" yourself into falling asleep, but you're too exhausted to really get up and do anything either. Well, you work on your blog about God's goodness of course; because it's very important to remember...especially right now. So bleary eyes and fuzzy brain aside....
Christmas....I love this time of year so much. Christmas is my thing...always has been. Some of my warmest memories of family togetherness and being joyful are of Christmas time -- getting together with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, singing Christmas carols, having our own family Christmas, the excitement of anticipation -- what's in that package? -- and experiencing it all with the wonder of childhood. I know some people do not have those treasured memories or the loving family to share it with. I know this is a blessing in and of itself. And I am very thankful to the Lord for it.
One of the things I have always especially loved about Christmas is all the lights. Lights on the trees, lights on the houses, candles in the windows, big lights, little lights, multi-colored and twinkly lights. Both as a child and now, I love to sit in a dark room with only the Christmas lights shining. There is just something very warm and joyous about Christmas lights, like they are lighting the way for what is to come. Or whom. Even now, in the pre-dawn darkness, I see some Christmas lights left on here and there, and it brings me child-like joy and excitement (in spite of no sleep). Light has always been important to me, so I guess it makes sense that I would love the extra-specialness of Christmas lights.
I really love the passage in Isaiah that says "Those people walking in darkness have seen a Great Light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a Light has dawned" (9:2). I used to sleep with a night light because it made my childhood bedroom less scary. Some qualities of Light: Light guides us and shows us the way to walk. Light can bring us great comfort and hope. Light always overcomes the darkness. A single candle can light up a whole room. Darkness can no longer envelope anything the Light has touched.
Now as an adult, I've had my share of dark times -- I've struggled with chronic illness, losing loved ones, being misunderstood, loneliness and even with the darkest of dark places, depression. The idea of Jesus, the Great Light gives me hope and expectation that eventually, in His timing, I will see a brighter day. After a sleepless night in the darkness, after the especially long lonely and confusing hours, there is almost a relief when morning light comes with it's fresh perspective. The Light is always there, even if I don't always see Him right away. And I don't have to worry about stumbling around in the darkness because the Light has dawned that first Christmas night. May Jesus, the Light spark some hope in your heart as well. Merry CHRISTmas!