Monday, December 24, 2012


There is a heaviness that has been sitting on my heart this week. It is a physical weight that makes it a little difficult to breathe, slows my steps, and makes me want to climb into bed for a month. We have been so busy trying to get back into the routine of life and school and sleep schedules, I hardly noticed it at first.  But with each passing day, each day closer to Christmas, it becomes heavier.... tugging, threatening to pull me down, down, down...

I hate that Christian isn't here with us to see the "missmus wights" or to help pick out a color for his room... that he's not here to fight over who gets to wear the Santa hat and pass out gifts... I don't even know if he would be like Noah and prefer chocolate ice cream or vanilla like Austin prefers... Would he be reading fiction books like Austin or nonfiction like Noah or simply prefer no books at all?

I want to scream but I'm too tired. Perhaps weary is the better word...

I sit down at the piano to plunk out a few Christmas songs. As I flip through the hymn book, the pages open to two songs.

The Cross Is Not Greater

"The cross that He gave me may be heavy,
But it ne'er outweighs His grace;
The storm that I feared may surround me,
But it ne'er excludes His face.

The thorns in my path are not sharper
Than composed His crown for me;
The cup that I drink not more bitter
Than He drank in Gethsemane.

The light of His love shineth brighter,
As it falls on paths of woe;
The toil of my work groweth lighter,
As I stoop to raise the low.

His will I have joy in fulfilling,
As I'm walking in His sight;
My all to the blood I am bringing,
It alone can keep me right.

The cross is not greater than His grace,
The storm cannot hide His blessed face;
I am satisfied to know
That with Jesus here below,
I can conquer every foe."

-Ballington Booth

I struggle at times with that last stanza: "I am satisfied to know, That with Jesus here below, I can conquer every foe."  

I do believe that through Christ, we can conquer anything (Philippians 4:13).  It is the satisfied part that wavers from time to time.  

When I am rested and in His Word and "strong", I think "Yes, I can do this. I can run this race and be happy and joyful and content. I know I will see Christian again! Life is good! God is good!"

When I am tired and stressed and too busy with the things of this world to be consistent in prayer and reading God's Word, that is when my burden is TOO HEAVY to bear.  When holidays and special occasions mark the passing of time, the happy memories of Christmas long ago come rushing back, the sweet mixing with the bitter... and I cry...

How much longer must we wait, Lord, for your return?!

The words of the other song jump from the page.  This is a familiar song


The Christian's Good-Night

Sleep on, beloved, sleep, and take thy rest; 
Lay down thy head upon thy Savior's breast; 
We love thee well, but Jesus loves thee best--
Good-night! Good-night! Good-night!

Calm is thy slumber as an infant's sleep;
But thou shalt wake no more to toil and weep:
Thine is a perfect rest, secure and deep--
Good-night! Good-night! Good-night!

Until eternal glory lights the skies,
Until the dead in Jesus shall arise,
And He shall come, but not in lowly guise--
Good-night! Good-night! Good-night!

Only "Good-night", beloved-- not "Farewell!"
A little while, and all His saints shall dwell
In hallowed union indivisible--
Good-night! Good-night! Good-night!

Until we meet again before His throne,
Clothed in spotless robe He gives His own,
Until we know even as we are known--
Good-night! Good-night! Good-night!

I don't cry for Christian-- he is in that perfect rest and will never have to suffer the hurts of this world like we do. I cry for us. Christian's greatest gain was our greatest loss. It is in this loss that I give thanks for the promise and HOPE we gained when Jesus came in lowly guise all those years ago. Jesus Christ was born to us... He is the only reason we can say Good-night rather than Farewell!

As you prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, would you please take time to pray for the families that have said Good-night?  No matter how little or much time has passed, the missing and hurt is amplified during the holiday season. Your prayers make a tremendous difference in keeping together that which the devil seeks to destroy!

I choose joy.  Even in the hard moments.

To God be the glory.