Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pain, Tears, and Hope

Christmas time is a time for celebration, joy and merriment. As we walk through this jolly time of year, there are some for whom this is a painful time of year. For those who have lost loved ones, the holidays can be painful. For those who have lost a child, it can be an excruciating holiday. 
I walk this path with many people. You see, 13 years ago today, our baby went to be with Jesus. For many years, Christmas was a source of pain, and sadness. I am thankful that I serve a God that heals hearts, for he has truly healed mine. 
As I read the Christmas story one more time, I see mothers that lost children and were in pain. All because of one man. 
He coveted power above all else, including life.

Executed innocent children to protect his position.

Rage and hate filled his heart.

Ordered the Magi to help him, but they chose to listen to God.

During the tragedy, God never missed a tear, but knows that pain is sometimes part of the plan.

Matthew 2:7-18
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
 9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
 13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
 14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
 16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
 18 “A voice is heard in Ramah,
   weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
   and refusing to be comforted,
   because they are no more.”

There were some mothers in Bethlehem who suffered a great loss. Herod was so far from God, he did not care what pain he caused to those families.

There are still people today who take life without thinking of the consequences to others. Please know that God did not miss it when Herod did it, and God does not miss your pain today.

Psalm 56:8
8You have kept count of my tossings;
    put my tears in your bottle.
    Are they not in your book?

Hold on to Jesus. He came so that we can have hope in spite of the pain! That is why Jesus came to earth, why he was born in that manger. Why you and I can have hope!
Know that you are not alone, the Body of Christ desires to love and comfort you during this time.

If you have never had to walk through the pain of loss, maybe God is calling you to comfort someone who has, so be looking! Keep your eyes and your heart open.

Chasing After Hearts,
Glenda Johnson

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