The Weary World Rejoices

woman with a child in the living room
Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova on Pexels.com

O’ Holy Night is a classic Christmas song however this year the words seem to hit differently. For the last two weeks, I have pondered on the words, “the weary world rejoices.”

This year we have been on a rollercoaster of emotions with the virus continuing to spread, the heightened display of racial inequality, and the continued political strife. Many people are approaching the holidays with an empty chair as a loved one has died this year either from the virus or other ways.

No matter what has come, we can all agree how this year has brought many challenges. Plans shifted. Some small businesses are hanging on by a thread, people are without jobs and some for the first time ever are driving through lines of food banks just to receive necessities to care for their families.

Many find themselves weary and burdened.

This Christmas, I have talked to so many people who opted to put their Christmas decorations up earlier than normal. Many have been looking for some light in the midst of so much darkness.

I have consistently heard people utter the words, “it just doesn’t feel like Christmas.”

We have all experienced a lot. Maybe you find yourself weary this holiday season. Maybe the weight of this pandemic is hitting too close to home or for the first time ever you are spending the holidays alone.

Maybe just maybe the wait looks like it is never-ending.

Can I propose that we can rejoice in the midst of so much uncertainty? Not because of a change in our situations, but we can rejoice in the gift of Jesus Christ. 

As we approach Christmas, let us rejoice in the One who was born during a time of so much chaos; yet was sent to be with us and to nail our sins to the cross. Let us rejoice in the One who has conquered death and the grave. The One who has gifted us with His spirit and invites us to cast our cares on Him.

The One who is Love and encourages us to love others.

The One.

You might be weary, you might be heavy burdened. You might have gone through things that the world has seen or suffered in silence. If we continue to focus on our weariness, we will miss the beauty of this season. This year has been tough but let us not miss Jesus in it all. Let us worship the only One who has kept us this far. Let us be like the shepherds who when they first saw Jesus, they responded in worship. Let it be our example today, despite what it looks like, let us respond to Christmas with a heart of worship.

We can rejoice in O, Holy Night because Christ was born for you and for me.

Rejoice!

Faith in Work: Finding Joy in the Day to Day

Stressed business woman

I just finished Tim Keller’s book Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work. I appreciated this book because it showed the importance of seeing the value in our careers regardless if you are in corporate or ministry.

Tim gave an example of a doorman at an apartment in New York, who was known by the residents for his positive attitude and how he took pride in helping people. He took the initiative to learn the residents’ name and when asked why he took so much pride in his work, he mentioned how it’s the people in the building that he cares about.

When I read this story, it reminded me of the security guard at my employer who knows every employee by name. He is the first person you will see in the morning and he makes sure the elevator is waiting for you. He takes pride in the people at the office. He brings joy early in the morning. When he is not there, you miss his presence. He simply radiates with Christ’s love.

Colossians 3:23 says “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”

It is so easy to get bogged down in the day to day tasks that you find yourself losing joy in what brought you to work. When you’re constantly listening to people complain, surrounded by deadlines and work politics, it’s hard to find the energy to press on but what if we truly approached work as it is unto the Lord? Not to make our boss look good or to make the company more money, but if we can commit to walking in the light every day so that those who may not know God will sense something different through our presence.

Work can be a part of your ministry if you choose to work unto the Lord. There may be someone on the job who may only know Christ through you. There may be people who need to see an example of a servant leader. Or maybe that company needs your help to bring a new sense of purpose.

There are so many reasons as to why God has you where you are, but friends, know that it is on purpose. Let’s be committed to working smart and intentionally being the salt and light in the workplace.

A Robber of Joy

I think many times, we get so caught up in how God has opened up doors for those around us that it makes us diminish what He’s done for us. As much as I love social media, I think it has a tendency to be a robber of joy. Why?

People share what they want you to know which in most cases, is the good in their lives. People want to showcase their vacations, promotions, engagements and more. Rarely do you see people oversharing their past, heartbreaks, family deaths, and tragedies. We keep those things close to the chest. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t share the good or you need to start sharing the stormy seasons, but it is to say how you shouldn’t allow a post to determine your value.

God hasn’t forgotten about you. He isn’t in the business of blessing everyone but you. He loves you and desires to answer your prayers. And I can guarantee that He is blessing you every day, you are just missing them because you are focused on the big miracle that you’ve been praying for.

You can’t allow your circumstances to keep you from receiving His best. He isn’t concerned about that, a matter of fact, He has probably placed you there so that He can get the glory when He brings you out of that situation. Just because things aren’t where you want them to be, doesn’t give you an open door to devalue this season in your life. God is building character within you. He wants you to lean on Him for guidance.

God has a purpose for you that doesn’t compare to others. He is just waiting for you to tap into Him as the source. I believe, when you do, He will begin to align your desires with His purpose for you. He will show you how His plans have been greater all along.

As we go into a new week, I challenge you to celebrate those around you. Be happy for what’s going on in their lives but don’t just stop there, you should be praising Him in advance for what He is going to do in your life.