Empty Hearts During a Full Season
My heart is full for those of us who are depleted emotionally, physically and spiritually from loss and unfulfilled expectations. My heart feels the pain of ruptured living relationships and the agony of the passing of loved ones. Facing a season of this magnitude is unbearable when hearts are only beating to keep the body operating with its essential involuntary movements. Wounds of history both new and old are reopened with commercials and depictions of cultural complete wholeness. Hearts are pierced when too many questions are asked and answers given are vague and minimal.
Souls collapse as unfulfilled expectations are thrown as reminders into grieving faces in the festive shopping malls, the perfectionism of social media and stoic churches.
How can we be expected to give and receive gifts with a full and accepting heart; when the heart is empty and padlocked for protection? How can we have any shred of joy when it takes all we have to go through the motions and hobble through the next few weeks wearing empty smiles and dull eyes? When we feel like we have been robbed of wholeness and God is jerking us around; how do we dig down deep to say a heartfelt Merry Christmas? How do we swallow our resentment and disgust when our innards are twisted up with unspoken hurts and broken dreams?
It is when our hearts are numb and our guts are sick to death that God breathes His power into our nostrils. He makes our souls feel again. He will not stand by and watch us become weakened, wounded and afraid through a holiday season. God is an active participant in our pain, and God is palatable. He is all knowing and accepting of our ugliness and defeats. That is why Jesus came. Jesus came to experience life in the flesh and to give flesh the experience of life from the inside out. He came humbly to breathe truth into hurts, loss and unfulfilled expectations.
The truth of Jesus and the truth of Christmas is that hope is alive and breathing in us.
Yes, there is much brokenness and many distractions at hand, and God is in all of them calling you to peer through the density of your situation and fix your eyes on Him. He has your back through the fire and trials and when you anchor your soul to His heart (because it is for you, and it is solid) you will find that unexplainable hope. Take heart beloved and fellow weary traveler because rest is available in the here and now. Lay aside your expectations and disappointments. They are extra weight in this journey.
Hope is in your next breath. Breathe deeply and remind yourself you are the reason Jesus came for this season.
And you are the reason Jesus is coming back. Matthew 24:30b states, “…they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Jesus brought hope in his birth, and Jesus is continuing hope with the anticipation of his powerful and great return. Take heart and allow Him to pull you in like an orphan child and put on the eyes of wonderment and joy in your smile. You matter, and you are valuable.
I wish you a truly hopeful Christmas Season,