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Sarah at Christmas

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christmas Hope




I asked Nicola Martinez, Editor-in-Chief of Pelican Ventures Book Group if I could reprint her Christmas Letter to her authors. She responded I could. I'm now an author with Pelican Ventures Book Group, but I'll tell you more about that later.  Here's Nicola's letter.

Many are facing hardships. From illness to financial hardship to family estrangement and having to endure the first Christmas after losing a family member. It's easy to lose sight of God's promises. People can feel distant and almost out of reach even though we know as Christians that God and His promises are never out of reach.

You know, when it's Lent and we're approaching Easter, it's easy to ponder Jesus' suffering and how He endured the same hardships we do, and worse. But, at Christmas, the special joy the world seems to exude tends to outshine the reality that there was a lot of suffering in the birth of Christ. His mother had to tell her fiancé that she was pregnant, which meant risking not only divorce but possibly being stoned. Then, as she was just about ready to give birth, they were forced on a journey. (Mothers, you remember what it's like to be "big as a house", "out to here", right? Must've been really comfy riding that donkey!) And what must it have felt like to have to lay the Son of God on a bed of rough straw instead of in a comfy bed. Mary and Joseph must've felt like failures...certainly unworthy of the task to which they'd been entrusted. That wasn't the end of it, though, because while the angels were singing "Glory to God in the Highest", Herod was slaughtering babies and toddlers. Shocking, I know.


Those who suffer through loss and loneliness at Christmas are not alone. They are not far from God's promises. They are as close as Mary and Joseph. They are as close as those parents who lost their children. They are as close as those martyred innocents. There was a lot of sadness and suffering when Salvation entered the world. And yet, this is rightly a season of Joy. Emmanuel: God with us. Through love and miracle, we have everything. There is nothing He can't accomplish. All we have to do is believe. Trust. Give Him permission to work in our lives.

No matter what your circumstance is this holiday season, I hope you have time to enjoy the miracle of this life and His with which you are blessed. If you are in a place of happiness, contentment and abundance; praise Him. Have compassion for those who are suffering right now. Pray for them so they have the strength to make it through.

If you are in a place of pain or sorrow or other hardship, try to rest in the promise. It is right there even if you can't feel it. There is nothing in this world that can make your situation easier at this moment in time. For whatever reason, your situation is something you must endure. But you can endure! And when you come out on the other side, you will be better. I don't know how, but I know it's true, and I pray you know it, too.



Blessings,
Nicola Martinez, Editor-in-Chief
Pelican Ventures Book Group
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Merry Christmas everyone! Take hope in His season.