As a Christian, the Christmas story is an amazing story of love and hope for me. That a baby boy, who would grow to be the Saviour of the World, was born in a manger and not in a palace tells me that very often hope is found in the most unusual of places. That the Son of God chose to be born in a simple carpenters family tells me that love is found where I may not look for it. That God sent his Son to us to live amongst us tells me of a love that makes its way to me, meets me where I am and understands my human struggles and pain. That the three wise men traveled from afar and set out to find the baby who was destined to be the King of the Jews tells me that the road that I have to take may be long but that I shouldn’t give up in between, especially when I am disappointed because I don’t find what I am looking for in the places I expect to find it. The wise men followed the star and this tells me that I need to focus on Him alone and He will lead me to the treasures that He has in store for me.
As I have mentioned in earlier posts, this year has been a very challenging one for me – physically, emotionally and spiritually.
There were times of total hopelessness, despair and loneliness yet I know that it was God who carried me through and ensured that I did not collapse completely. In some of the most difficult phases I realised that the people I thought would support, stand by me or even fight for me; either left me alone or looked the other way because they wanted to be “neutral” or because they were convinced that they knew better or because they thought that things couldn’t be that bad for me…… In the midst of hurt and disappointment it was God who gently nudged me to focus on Him, assured me that He would stand by and fight for me, that He would lead me to greener pastures and that He would send me people to carry me through. It was a challenge to trust and focus on Him and not on the hurt and pain, but I was blessed to have friends and very often strangers who held me and walked a part of the road with me.
So I found hope, love, healing, peace, support and encouragement in places, from friends and family members where or from whom I did not expect to find it or at least not in the measure that I received it. It also means a lot to me that I can celebrate Christmas here in Stockholm because most of the friends who carried me through some of the darkest periods this year live in this beautiful city 🙂
So my wish and prayer for all of us this Christmas is that the Christmas message of hope and love becomes real and tangible for us; that no matter what difficulties we are facing or how many disappointments, hurt or despair we have in our lives – we can see and find the love and beauty around us, which might be found in the most unexpected and unusual of places or people. May this love be the beacon of hope that leads us to peace, healing and joy. And may we share this love with others and be a source of hope, joy and peace this Christmas and all through the coming year.
Warmest Christmas wishes from Stockholm!