So This Is Christmas
Christmas 2020 is upon us and we are feeling very odd. This year has been a weird one that seems to have passed by in a long blur. Things we look forward to to mark the seasons have been cancelled, and we have spent far more time indoors than most of us would like.
Many people are feeling a sense of sadness and grief for what has been lost, and although I am a very positive and optimistic person, even I am not feeling quite as Christmassy as I usually do at this time of year. Plans have been changed; we can't go to Christmas events, can't be with all our loved ones at that special time of year. Even our poor Christmas tree is wilting, and the Christmas lights are not working properly!
But... there is Hope! The whole point of Christmas is that we remember that Christ came to earth to meet us in one epic, cosmic fusion of Heaven and Earth. He came to bring us hope where there was no hope. He offers us a light in the darkness. He came to bring us new life where there was condemnation to death. That event that happened over 2000 years ago in history is just as real for us today as it was then. This year brought a virus so deadly that it has caused whole countries to shut down; lives have been lost, family and friends have been lost, livelihoods have been lost, and that has brought a sense of hopelessness to many people. But God is so much bigger than the pandemic; more powerful than the virus, and when we choose to put our hand inside His and trust Him with our lives, we can be sure that He won't leave us or let us down.
Now, I am not preaching here - I am talking just as much to myself as anyone else. I have been struggling with anxiety for quite a few years but this year it has escalated to a ridiculously irrational level. I have been stressed and anxious about all sorts of things - and even things that aren't things! Last week I ended up in hospital with chest pains and palpitations which had been going on for a week. They are referring me to a cardiologist to check things out, but I think a large part of it was probably due to a build up of stress and anxiety. I have been working really hard this week on trying to do calming and relaxing things, and have been trying to learn my triggers and how to manage them. It will be a process, but I am beginning to get there.
So, this Christmas, whatever your circumstances, and however you are feeling, try looking toward Heaven and accepting God's gift of peace, of hope and of love. Ask Him to give you His peace which surpasses all understanding. (Philippians 4v7)
If you want some resources to help you relax, these two links to channels on YouTube have been great for me:
https://www.youtube.com/user/DappyTKeys Tim Oladeru plays non-stop instrumental piano worship for hours at a time.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfZG-gragcGftVqWW0vzYmA Beatrix Von Watzdorf does some fantastic guided meditations on The Word.