We set up our Christmas tree this afternoon. Every year, there’s just something magical about the tree for me. I know that Christ is the most important part of the holiday. I love nativity sets and have three set up in my house at the moment. But the tree…there’s something so special about it. I didn’t realize until tonight just what made it so special. It was just after 9 o’clock and all the lights were off in the living room…except the tree. I was going to turn it off to go to bed but I sat there looking at it, transfixed like a little child. Then I remembered what I’d read to my family in our Advent devotional this afternoon.
“Jesus comes as your little-yet-big miracle, who whispers to you in a noisy world: “Right where you are, look for the small glimpses of My love unfurling around you like a slender leaf, like the branches of a tree, like the seeking limbs of a babe.”….Miracles happen whenever we look for shoots of Jesus’ love everywhere—because this grows deep roots in Jesus’ love for everyone.”
I also remembered the Scripture I’d been pointed to during my own Advent devotional.
“In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.” ~John 1:4-5, 10~
We’re nearing the end of a decade. It’s been a really rough decade. Infertility, job losses, multiple miscarriages, financial struggles, a premature infant and almost four months spent in the hospital causing PTSD I had to learn to manage, not to mention the strain that all those things places on a marriage. There’s been a lot of darkness and fear in the last ten years. But God’s light always seems to find a way to let in the miracles despite our circumstances.
I realized that my fascination with the Christmas tree has to do with the lights. They are absolutely beautiful against the branches of the tree. More importantly, on a dark winter’s night they infuse light. They are a light shining in the darkness, just as Jesus is light in the dark places of our lives. As I turn to Him more and more when I struggle, I see His hand miraculously placed over and over again.
When I became pregnant after three miscarriages it was terrifying. Instead of giving into fear, I reached out to everyone I knew for prayer. I shared with two Facebook groups filled with prayer warriors who not only prayed for me, but added me to their church’s prayer chains that more prayer warriors would also storm the gates of Heaven.
When we were struggling financially, God repeatedly stepped in to help us with random checks showing up in the mail from one place or another, checks we didn’t even know we were entitled to until they were in our mailbox.
When I was struggling with anxiety and depression, I took the Word of God and spoke it aloud as a prayer over and over until the depression and anxiety attacks left me.
In the midst of the darkness, time and time again, I called to the Light of the world. I put my trust in Him. Time and time again the Light came to shine in the dark places of my life. His promises never fail.
In this Christmas season take a few minutes each day to pause and reflect on the reason for all the busy and the bustle. Let the light shine into any darkness you’re struggling with. Give praise as we celebrate the light coming into a dark world so many years ago.