Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bitter or Better

It's Christmas and it's time to celebrate the birth of Christ. Seeing how the world focuses on consumerism instead of mimicking the life of Jesus makes me wonder, "Do we really believe that Jesus was the Son of God?" The answer to that question for Christians will determine how we respond to the problems we face in life. 

Yet despite our faith, "standing on the promises of God" is often easier said than done.  Let's be honest, how many of us profess from the mountaintop that Jesus is truly the Son of God - the one that actually cares for us and comes to us - when we are in the middle of tough times? But as Christians we are told to go, and by faith we do go, to Jesus to find hope. 

Having lived 55 years, I have learned that the world is filled with hate, hurting, sadness, fear, depression, hunger, sickness, death, disaster, and violence. As a Christian, I've had to ask myself, "How am I going to react when I'm confronted with these realities?" The bottom line is that however I react, "my true colors will come shining through." As a mother this very fact has helped me form how I have reacted to situations around my family. I've had to ask myself, "Is there a way I can show my son and husband a hope filled grief rather than a hopeless grief?" 

Max Lucado, in his book, For these Tough Times, gave insight to some possible answers to life's hardships when everything seems to be falling apart. As I've learned over the years and how he reminded me, trials bring us to a fork in the road, they make us either bitter or better. Lucado challenged me to reach toward heaven for hope and healing. Yet as a Christian, where else would our hope come from, but the Lord - the maker of heaven and earth.

I know it's late in the season, but if you have a loved one who has experienced some hard time and may need a lift, this book would be a great gift for Christmas. It's small (only 83 pages) and it's the perfect size for any Christmas stocking.