by Louise Tucker Jones
I know Christmas is around the corner when I see those heart-tugging, tear-jerking Hallmark card commercials on TV. I almost had one of those Hallmark moments several years ago. At least, I thought I was going to have one. My prodigal daughter had come home for the holiday, and as I watched her stroll through the living room, lingering at the Christmas tree and touching ornaments her little hands had made, I hoped she was remembering good times. Special times.
Then suddenly, she walked into the kitchen.
I stopped what I was doing and turned toward her, noting the look of remembrance on her face. “Mom, do you remember…” I held my breath, certain this was the moment I had been waiting for. That priceless connection. Then she finished. “Mom, do you remember when you swatted that huge, weird-looking spider and baby spiders flew all over the place?” Did she really ask that? Yes, she did! It caught me off-guard. I was stunned. Shocked, in fact. And yes, I remembered the incident, but certainly not with fondness. A Hallmark moment it wasn’t!
The truth is, most of our lives are not made up of Hallmark moments. Most of our lives are a mix of the ordinary—the good, the bad, and everything in between. People are out there experiencing one thing or another. For every death being grieved there is a birth being celebrated. While one household is deafeningly empty and lonely, another is bursting at the seams with generations of family.
Being a person who ponders things, I find myself asking God the big question. Why? Why does He seem to bless one person, family or country and not another? Why does one person die from cancer while another survives? Why is one couple blessed with half dozen children and another remains childless? Why is a teenager cut down in the prime of life by a drunken driver? Why do evil people make shooting galleries of our schools? I have no answer to these questions or a thousand more.
The Christmas season can be a real trigger of past painful events. We miss loved ones who are no longer with us. We remember Christmases gone by and regret that our present is not nearly as happy as our past.
I know those feelings all too well. But I also know there is a God in heaven who has not forgotten us. He sent his Son to this earth that first Christmas, over 2,000 years ago. Jesus came so that we might have life and love, even in our most difficult times. Life in Him—not in a Holiday. Love in Christ—not in Christmas.
God’s love is not conditional on our emotions. Our circumstances will never predict or dictate God’s character. His eternal love, mercy and grace can invade our hearts and penetrate our souls, no matter what phase of life we might be experiencing. His presence reaches beyond the holidays.
The popular saying, “Jesus is the reason for the season” actually holds true. And the best news of all—Jesus promises to be with us forever. Not just at Christmas but for eternity. What an amazing gift!
“And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20 (KJV)
About the author: Louise Tucker Jones is a speaker, columnist, and author of four books, including The Gift of Christmas. Her poignant life stories will touch your heart or tickle your funny bone. Having a son with Down Syndrome, Louise writes extensively concerning people with special needs, co-authoring the Gold Medallion award-winning book, Extraordinary Kids, with Cheri Fuller. Married to Carl for 45 years before he relocated to heaven, Louise is a mother, grandmother, professed chocoholic, and founder of the support group, Wives With Heavenly Husbands.
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