Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. Calvin Coolidge
It is Christmas Eve and I’m parked on the side of the road in my car, I just delivered a cheese ball to a friend. Normally, we spent Christmas Eve with my in-laws but this year we are not together. My mom’s been gone seven year’s at this time, the year is 1984. We always celebrated on Christmas Eve and she made Christmas special. As I sit in the car, tears roll down my face, I’m missing my mom and angry at the same time because God took her to heaven.
The stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance according to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. This is usually associated with the person given a diagnosis of Cancer but can be used for grief in general. Currently, I am numb at losing my dad. Perhaps, you can relate to what I am feeling, you have lost a loved one recently or you are going through a divorce or suffering from a chronic illness or facing a mountain you don’t know how to climb. The truth about grief is that you can go through the stages and there is no rhyme or reason to your grief. One day you may very well accept what has happened and the next day you are angry or depressed.
Peace is what I am looking for the kind of peace only God can give. Peace comes through salvation as we see in Romans 5:1, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” In Colossians 3:15, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. We see that peace comes through submission and letting Christ rule in our hearts.” Lastly, peace comes through the Holy Spirit and is a gift as we read in Galatians 5: 22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
As my tears dried, I went home that night to my husband and boys, with a renewal that my mom always made Christmas special so I needed to carry on that tradition. I thanked God for the memories that flooded my soul that brought the tears and the peace that he gave so I could go home that evening with the right attitude.
Father God, thank you for the joy of your son the reason that we celebrate Christmas. Lord, help me to focus on your peace when I start grieving. Thank you for the treasure of my dad’s sermon notes that this devotion is based on peace. I ask that we claim during this season the peace that only you can give.
Beloved, what do you need to do to add peace to your life this December?