How many of us ask this question of ourselves, while we put on a smile, baste the turkey, finish the shopping, and bid friends, "Merry Christmas"? I think many do.
I have friends who have lost mothers and fathers this year, miscarried babies, so many who have lost jobs, been wrenched through the fierce machinery of divorce, or succumbed to cancer and sickness.
How to be happy, with that?
I understand. My troubles are less, but they have certainly darkened the season. As I decorate and unpack Christmas boxes, I think constantly of how I'll be packing EVERYTHING again, in only a month or so. Philip is home from college -- how wonderful! -- but these few weeks will likely be his last ones to live in this house. When will I have him in my home again? If we move to South Dakota, will he come there? Sadness, again. I feel loss, such loss. Why is it happening again?
And at Christmas, Jesus came. He came to suffer, to suffer alongside us. As I trudge this weary road of loss again, I feel him beside me. And this is why I can be happy at Christmas -- because Christmas means God With Us. And that means God is with me in my sadness, my trouble, my loss.
Great. And this makes me happy because??? Misery loves company??? No.
It makes me happy because I remind myself that we all want to escape our sadness, trouble and loss. And if Jesus had not come at Christmas, we would never escape.
I know there's a heaven, a place where no one will ever tell my husband that he can't have a job anymore, where we won't lose our home again, where I won't ever, EVER have to spend 4 years making new friends only to lose them. I want that heaven. Don't you?
We would never have it, if Jesus hadn't come.
This world of sadness, this vale of tears (as my mother says) is temporary. Jesus ushers us into heaven, where we will see those we've lost, never to lose them again, where cancer won't exist. All because of Christmas.
Think of your sorrows. Think of their end. And thank Jesus for coming.