Today is Christmas Eve. I'm sitting in church right now as I write this. Don't worry, I'm paying attention! Anyway, back to why I'm writing. The weather is pretty rotten right now. It's too warm for the snow to stick, but it's too cold to do anything outside. It's kind of that in-between temperature that we in Michigan get often, but never get used to. It's only December, so spring is obviously far away. In fact, it's only been winter for a couple days now.
Winter is a pretty depressing time for a lot of people. Sure, Christmas is supposed to cheer us all up, but what about those who are celebrating their first Christmas since the loss of a loved one? What about those who are lonely, or broken? It's hard to think about celebrating for them.
Sometimes when we look inside, it's a lot like it is outside right now. It's pretty bleak. It seems like "spring" is so far away, and yet it can be hard to imagine making it through such a hard winter. The weather keeps getting worse, and we can get buried in the depth of the cold.
But then, isn't that right where God can meet us best? When we seem to be without hope? When we need Him more than anything else? Isn't that the place God allows us to go so that we can better see who he wants us to be?
Christmas can be a pretty hard time. It can be cold - it can be harsh. But the hope of Christmas isn't the winter - it's what comes in the spring. The story of Christmas is the story of Easter. It doesn't end here.
Although most of us will go back to our lives on Monday, and the sales will all be over, the reality is that the story has just now begun. The truth is that we have something to look forward to - a hope of a future.
"for I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11