I woke up this morning to the crushing news of the death of a classmate and friend. My heart breaks for his family and those who were close to him. Thirty-five is simply too young to die. And when it hits so close to home, it’s all the more real. In the midst of the pain, you can’t help but ask why.
But as I wrestle with my emotions, I’m reminded that reason is a liar. That making sense of it all won’t make the pain go away. Life without pain isn’t life at all.
Tragedy is always cruel—but especially during the holidays. If Christmas is a season of hope, reality seems to be the Grinch who robs us of her. Instead of a buffet of hope on the table, we’re left with crumbs. But as I wept this morning, I was comforted. Even if all we have is a single crumb of hope, she is enough.
The power of hope isn’t contingent upon how much of it you have, but rather that you have any at all.
In the midst of pain, we often retreat to the memory of a better day. But as I mourned this morning, I had an interesting thought: the past can give you hope, but you can’t hope in the past. There’s a difference.
At Christmas, more than any time, we look back to gain hope. And that hope is what propels us onward. In the most unassuming circumstances and in the most unexpected fashion, the appearance of a child brought the thrill of hope to the world. That news, the good news, was and is a balm to our weary soul.
You can’t spell Christmas without hope because Christ is hope.
If this particular Christmas finds you robbed of hope, remember that Jesus is Hope. And because of that, hope can’t be taken away.
May that propel you forward.
Merry Christmas, friends.