Growing Kingdom People – Are You “Out of Your Tree?” This Christmas?


Are You “Out of Your Tree” This Christmas?

Some seasons in life are happier than others. Christmas is a holiday season that is supposed to make us happy, regardless of our circumstances.  But we know this isn’t always the case.

Last Christmas my wife and I almost didn’t put up our Christmas decorations. This would have been a huge departure from the norm since Christmas is one of our favorite times of the year and things like ornaments, mugs and figurines have a way of connecting us to a lifetime of memories.

It is hard to explain why we felt the way we did. One reason was certainly the fact we were traveling out-of-town to be with our family for Christmas and even our local celebrations were in other people’s homes.

We were also emotionally drained as a result of some terrible pain people we loved were experiencing in their lives. It wasn’t that it didn’t “seem” like Christmas.  We just didn’t have a strong desire to create the atmosphere in our home that had brought us so much joy over the years.

There was a time in my life when I would have thought people were crazy or “out of their tree” if they decided not to decorate their house for Christmas. Now I understand.  When all of your energy is being used to keep yourself afloat emotionally, there isn’t much left for celebrating.

Still, we put up the tree.

No, we did not believe God would be disappointed in us if we left our decorations in the box. The Bible doesn’t say anything about Christmas decorations.

We put up the tree because we believed it was something we needed to do for ourselves. We needed to reflect on our memories and we needed to create an atmosphere in our house that challenged our trend toward self-absorption.

Christmas is a joyous time of the year, but this year might be different for you. Perhaps you have lost a loved one or endured a divorce.  Maybe you are in the midst of cancer treatments, a court case or a business downturn.

Are you beginning to think you are “out of your tree?”

It’s ok. We all go through difficult times in our lives.

Do what you must, but I want to encourage you to put up the decorations anyway (literally or figuratively). We are all raised differently, but I still remember my parents responding to some disfavor on my part by saying, “You are going to do it and you are going to like it!”

Sometimes we have to make ourselves create an environment that helps us focus on better things.

Happier things.

This does not mean we are ignoring our problems or pretending we feel good when we don’t.  It’s just good advice. When life is hard, make up your mind you are not going to let Satan exploit your circumstances to make things worse.  Troubles are temporary, but the hope of Christ is eternal.

“For today, in the city of David a Savior has been born who is Christ the Lord.”

Even if you don’t feel like anyone is in charge right now, trust me.  Christ is still Lord!  No one and no thing can stand against Him.

About LJones

Minister and story teller.
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