It’s Boxing Day here in Africa. As I sit here enjoying my morning coffee, I’ve been scrolling through photos on Facebook. Family and friends are sharing Christmas photos. There are kids and grandkids galore, posed in front in fireplaces and Christmas trees, candid shots with gifts, and even videos of the fun.
For just a moment, I was tempted to be drawn back into the “why can’t we have children too?” attitude. The ache over not having children (and therefore never being grandparents) threatened to overwhelm and suck me back into that abyss of self-pity and bitterness. But I’m learning. Slowly, but I am learning.
It’s not about me. I have to constantly remind myself of this truth: It is not about me. It isn’t. Christmas isn’t about me, or about having children or grandchildren to enjoy. It isn’t about lights, Christmas dinner, family, traditions, or presents. It’s about the greatest gift of all. It’s about remembering that the King of Glory gave up everything to be born as a baby; so He could die in my place. All the other things we enjoy at Christmas time are just extra blessings.
I have learned (and continue to learn) that my focus and attitude determines my joy or agony. This isn’t to say that there’s never any pain or sadness if I keep my focus right. It simply means that God gives peace and joy to overpower the sadness, when I keep my eyes on Him. My heart will miss my babies until I see them in Heaven, but my heart can still be full of peace and joy until that day.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Isaiah 26:3
This is my hope, and my promise. He will keep me in perfect peace, when I keep my mind stayed on Him and trust Him. So, when the sadness comes, instead of focusing on the sorrow, I focus on the Saviour. He knows my heartache, and wants to replace it with His joy – if I let go of it, and let Him. So, while there were brief moments of missing our babies, I had a great Christmas. It was full of joy and peace as we celebrated at home and church.
What do you do when the sorrow tries to override the joy of Christmas, or any other day? How do you redirect your mind to Christ so His joy can override the sorrow?