I remember it like it was yesterday. Nick and I were newly married. There was a lady from my church who lost her husband. I could not even fathom it. This was a couple that had been married years and years and still were just SO in love. He still always doted on her big time and she treated him like the king of the household. They were the things relationship goals were made of. And just like that, it was gone. I was just so unbelievably heartbroken for her. I remember sitting on our living room floor crying to Nick, explaining how I just did not see how she could go on. I knew that he was her everything and it broke my heart that all of it had come crashing down on her.
What Nick said next completely shook my world and definitely molded how I viewed our marriage from then on. He reminded me that NOTHING could come before Jesus. Husbands and wives don’t have more precedence over Him, children don’t come before Him, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING should be more important in our lives than Jesus Christ. All of this I already knew so it should have come to no surprise, but yet there I was a brand new bride and so full of excitement about my life with my husband and all that was to come. And I was supposed to be okay if God just decided to rip that away? No AND yes. Of course with loss comes overwhelming sadness and devastation and broken hearts, but in that there is still HOPE. Hope that can only be found in Jesus when HE is who we live for. My friend’s life still went on because although her husband was her everything, Jesus was her ULTIMATE. Jesus is who she lived her life for, not her husband.
At that moment I was challenged to evaluate my life to figure out if Jesus was truly my King, or if I was putting Nick in that wrongful place. Such a romantic moment for the beginning of marriage, right? But actually it SO is. Nick loves me so incredibly much and he would do absolutely anything for me. But he can NEVER love me as much as Jesus does. Nick is a sinful human after all. He will fail me even if he doesn’t want to. And the same goes for me. It truly is inevitable.
I am not in any way undervaluing the hurt and pain that people go through, especially when losing a loved one. I know that pain well. When I look at my husband and my one year old, I want to hold them close to me so the world can’t leave its mark on them. But at the same time, I have hope in a Savior that loves me and will never leave me.
This season of Christmas can be so hard for some. There is loss, hurt, abuse, anger, and all kinds of emotions that can sting a little deeper because this is supposed to be ‘the most wonderful time of year.’ BUT YET. God reminds us that more than anything, this is the season that we celebrate HOPE. He sent a little baby named Jesus that came to save the world by reconciling all of us broken people to the most amazing God. What great news that is! If we trust in Jesus, we know that although there may be pain, this world is not our home. We are able to serve Him here until the day that we are reunited with Him in glory. I so pray during this season (and always) that everyone will come to know Jesus in the most real way.
‘Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.’ Romans 5:2-5
So during Christmas time, I celebrate this hope! I pray that you have received that hope as well. And for those that have, my prayer is that you would be able to cling to Jesus fully, especially if you are in a hard season of life.
‘I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.’ John 16:33