How hard the Christmas season is for many people.
Amidst the preparation and anticipation can be a sense of emptiness, of loneliness. Christmas is a season of hope; yet, we can feel as though, on the other side of our hope, there is no fulfillment here in this mortal world.
Especially, loneliness. Perhaps we feel lonely if we do not have a spouse, or significant other, or family to be near to and share the holiday with. Perhaps our Faith is dry and empty; we want to experience the joy and anticipation of the arrival of Christ, but if our Faith is flagging, it’s hard to muster a feeling of hope–and we don’t want our faith to be contrived at all, but genuine.
Perhaps we’ve experienced some recent loss that has left us sad; perhaps Christmas reminds us of carefree days gone by when we were happy.
Consider this: maybe, just maybe, Our Lord is behind all of the emotions you feel, for an important reason: to make room in you for Himself.
Maybe, just maybe, the One we long to see is already here. Your feelings of longing, loneliness, emptiness–might they be His way of clearing out a space for Himself, moving things out of His way, so He can come and abide with you in a new way?
Just maybe, is it possible that the loneliness is a holy longing–its the Spirit of God within each one of us, calling out to us, ‘Christmas is coming, but I am here for you now!’
When you feel the darkness coming in, that fleeting sense of emptiness, that loneliness, consider calling out to God as a child to a father. Perhaps this prayer, or your own words, will help:
Father, I just want to be with you.
All I want for Christmas is to be near to You, near to Jesus.
Instead of parties, presents, food and drink– I just want you.
Please draw me near and be my peace and my portion and cup
Especially when I feel the darkness closing in–
This Christmas and always.
My friend, I pray that any loneliness or emptiness you feel during this Advent and Christmas season is, instead, filled with the hope of His Salvation, and His Presence in your life now and all your days.