How does that word make you feel? Loved? Maybe sad? Angry? Alone? Family comes with so many different emotions for each person depending on past experiences or present circumstances. During the holidays the bad feelings you try to ignore all year seem to be dredged up. If you have division in the family, all that anger and bitterness rises to the surface, reminding you that your family situation isn’t ideal. If you don’t have any family to spend time with during the holidays, you are reminded how lonely you feel. If you lost family members, the sadness returns full force, with memories of previous years spent with those people. But then we appreciate the family and friends we do have as we look around and try to freeze the good moments as they become wonderful memories.
In the winter it seems we are all forced inside where we have to face the drama of relationship or loneliness. Personally I love Christmas; all the lights and decor, white mochas and Christmas carols. It’s all romantic to me. But the thing that I have to face is the fact that I’m single and I’d like some relational romance. I squeeze all the romance I can out of the beauty of Christmas but when I go home and lie in bed at night I wish I had someone next to me. I long for that connection with a man. And I hope I find that some day. But I have soooo many good things. I have a mom and dad, a sister and two brothers, three nieces, and a group of awesome friends. But this time of year my mind shifts to what I don’t have. It’s crazy how we focus on what we don’t have when we have so much to be grateful for. We have to intentionally focus on what we do have and pour ourselves into it.
Relationships are the most important thing in life, yet the hardest thing to maintain. We are in the family of God. The enemy will come in to divide us and isolate us. God moves through people unified and fighting for what is right. Sometimes we stare at the sky, waiting for God to answer our payers; to give us what we want. But people are God’s vessels. He works in and through each of us to answer each others prayers. Let’s shift our eyes and hearts towards each other and see what God is doing in our family, our friends, and the body of Christ. Let’s stop looking and what is wrong in our lives, and dwelling on the things we long for, and let those in our lives know we love them and appreciate them. Listen to God and do what you can to help those around you. Let’s do what we can to keep ourselves unified. God is love and we cannot have love without relationship. So let’s be present in all our relationships and be the hands and feet of God, in the lives of others. Let’s pray that God will fill those empty, broken, lonely, and bitter places in our hearts, and allow us to come together as a family.