It's been a hard year for me, and to be honest I'm really dreading the Christmas season. I lost both my husband and my sister this year, and Christmas just won't be the same. Is it a sin to feel this way? — D.L.
God knows what you've been going through, and I want to assure you that He understands your feelings. The Bible reminds us that Christ was "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief" (Isaiah 53:3, KJV).
Christmas may not be the same for you this year, or for many who are reading this column. Life isn't always filled with happiness and excitement; sometimes sorrow and loss and depression come our way. But listen: Even in the midst of our worst times, God has not abandoned us. We may feel overwhelmed by our problems and sorrows -- but God is never overwhelmed, nor do they take Him by surprise. Jesus said, "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).
My prayer is that you will look beyond the familiar trappings of Christmas this year, and see instead the true meaning of Christ's coming into the world. He willingly left heaven's glory and became a tiny baby, born in a stable and raised by a poor couple who nevertheless loved God.
Why did He do this? He did it for one reason: So you and I could become part of God's family forever. By His death on the cross, He took the penalty that we deserve for our sins, and by His resurrection He assured us of life beyond the grave. If you have never done so, ask Jesus to come into your heart and life today. Then put Him at the center of your Christmas -- and your life.