After returning an item at a local store, I began to wander around – not knowing what I was looking for. Then my mind also began to wander, thinking about Matthew and how I miss him this Christmas.

Next, I headed to Sam’s to buy supplies for Christmas day, and I remembered how we used to go together to shop for Christmas. Our boys were much younger, and we enjoyed finding gifts that would surprise and delight them. Matthew was such a big kid himself.

How do we survive the holidays when our hearts are longing for more time with our loved one? There seems to have been so much loss and heartbreak this year. That alone is distressing.

Then I stumbled on this verse in a journal a friend gave me recently and God spoke to my heart.

Give your burdens to the Lord and he will take care of you. Psalm 55:22

It was just the reminder I needed.

Make room for blessings

When we lay our worries and stresses at Jesus’ feet, there’s room to think about the gifts – the blessings – God has already provided. So that’s what I decided to do.

I thought about my boys giving me an early Christmas gift – both thoughtful and touching. Parker made an ornament on a piece of wood, painting the cover of my book on it. I think he got as much joy from giving it as I did from receiving it.

I thought about impromptu lunches with two friends this week — two days in a row — and how each one blessed and encouraged me.

I thought about our Christmas party and how I enjoyed spending time with friends and family.

And I thought about the gift of God’s word (like Psalm 55:22) that tells me I can release my burdens and focus on blessings because of a promise fulfilled.

A promise fulfilled

God made a promise. Then he fulfilled it when he gave the gift of joy by sending His son to live among humankind. 

The shepherds experienced it that beautiful and magnificent night when they were visited by a host of angels.

Mary and Joseph experienced it as they sat in awe and held their baby in their arms — the new King who had come to save the world.

The wise men experienced it when they visited the small family and kneeled before the Christ.

And we can experience it too.

  • As we face dark days. Lonely days.
  • When we trust even though we cannot see ahead.
  • As we sense the secret workings of God in our hearts.
  • As we receive the gift of salvation Christ offers.

While some celebrate Christmas with family, others miss the family member who’s gone. Some celebrate by attending events and parties. Others endure the days alone.

One thing is sure. No matter our circumstances, Jesus will do what he says. God spoke to the prophets about the coming Messiah and His miraculous birth. And it happened exactly as it was written.

And because of that, we can celebrate a promise fulfilled — whether with a large group of people or with only Jesus as our companion. Let’s celebrate Jesus. Let’s worship Him.

Is the spirit of God tugging at your heart today? Give thanks that he gave Himself for us. Give thanks for the gifts He has given us personally. 

  • A time of laughter with a friend
  • A bittersweet memory
  • A thoughtful gesture
  • A scripture of encouragement
  • A moment in the presence of the King.

As the shepherds rejoiced when they heard the angels’ proclamation, then searched for the Christ child, let us also rejoice and be on the lookout for precious everyday gifts.