As I have thought about family and holidays, I have realized that so often, our special family times during the holidays fall short of what we hoped for and expected. We tend to have a picture in our mind of how things will go. The further we live from our family, the more idealized the picture tends to be. For each of us, the picture is very different.Often, our special family times during the holidays fall short of what we hoped for and expected. We tend to have a picture in our mind of how things will go. The further we live from our family, the more idealized the picture tends to be. Click To Tweet
Some of us just want our holiday times together to be quiet and unrushed. We may have some traditions we enjoy. Others of us have a few regular traditions. We just enjoy being with our family and friends. Others of us want a lot of activity and food! I think I fall somewhere in the middle. But no matter what we do or how we do it, there are not many Christmases that measure up to that picture in our heads of what makes up that ideal holiday. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t been a wonderful holiday. It’s just that there is a longing when all is said and done.No matter what we do or how we do it, there are not many Christmases that measure up to the picture of that ideal holiday. That doesn't mean it hasn't been a wonderful holiday. It's just that there is a longing when all is said and done. Click To Tweet
Where does that longing for Home take us?
Sometimes, it has to do with people who are missing. At other times, it has to do with plans that didn’t work out quite right. There can be many reasons why we just have that lonely feeling. Not long ago, someone mentioned that part of it has to do with people who are gone. But I don’t think that is all of it. For me, it also includes a loss of the delightful days when our children were home and we were younger and more energetic. When Christmas was full of surprises and secrets. We still have them, but it isn’t the same.
There are people that have been in our lives that we will never see again this side of heaven. I think that helps me understand that longing for home. After all the moving, I’m ready for Home. No, I’m not in a rush to die. But at times like the holidays, I find that feeling of loneliness helps me understand the desire for heaven. I never really understood it before. I used to feel guilty for not having it. But more recently, I have been finding myself a little weary, a little sad, a little lonely for a place of home.
What was I thinking? This year, I have run into a massive brick wall when it comes to failing in relationships.
Any past success I felt at one time, is lying in pieces at my feet. But that same failure has been shoving me toward Jesus in new ways!
I wrote on relationships during the holidays this year. I don’t know what I was thinking! If there was any year when I felt less qualified to write on this topic, it is this year. I have felt like a failure on many levels when it has come to relationships. But the reminder has come that despite my failures, Jesus didn’t fail once. He lived a perfect life when He was on earth. He never failed on his side of every relationship…yet one of his friends betrayed him. Another denied ever knowing him…times three! And the rest of his inner circle of 12 ran away during that weekend when He was crucified.
He knows my brokenness to a depth I am often blissfully unaware of. Yet He still loves me. That is awesome! It touches me at a very deep place. He knows my failings better than I do, yet He wants to be in a relationship with me. I have known people before that I loved and was close friends with at first. Then I found out things about them that weren’t good…that they had done before I knew them. But I already had a relationship with them. They were already my friend. It was somehow easier to forgive them because we already had a relationship. But Jesus knew about my mess before we had a relationship and He still wanted the relationship! That is amazing. He made the first move toward me despite what He knew.
His pursuit of me in my brokenness is mind boggling!
He continues to pursue me when I fail. He also forgives me without having to make me do penance. What could I possibly do to earn His favor? Jesus has completely finished the job on the cross. I don’t say it cheaply or tritely. So wherever you are in the gamut of relationships with family members, or anyone else for that matter, He has it taken care of and He is working in you to complete His work of sanctification. If you feel weak and maybe even like a failure like I often do, He is there to be strong for you. His power will show up for you!
The hope (confident assurance is the meaning here!) for all of us is that a day is coming when we will all be going Home. It will be a grand reunion. There will be no family fights, no disagreements, no stresses, no tears. It will be a time of full acceptance in Christ. We will all belong. Our brokenness will be gone! No one will feel left out…even for a minute. And we will see Jesus face to face and be able to thank Him for what He did for us. It will be beyond delightful for all of us.
Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude,
like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,
For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure”—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
And the angel said to me,
“Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”
And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”
Revelation 19:6-9 ESV