While most Christians look forward to celebrating Christmas, there are those who dread its arrival. Some believers have said goodbye, at least temporarily, to a loved one in the past year. This year at the family table, there will be an empty chair where a grandparent, father, mother, son or daughter once sat.
Scripture is clear that grieving is acceptable, even anticipated. When a love one dies, their presence is missed. Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 3:1-4, "To everything, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die...A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn..."
Even so, the apostle Paul wrote words of comfort in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, "And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died." (paraphrased)
If you are one who has experienced the death of a loved one within the last year:
Thankfully, we do not have to bear such a burden alone as Christ has instructed us to bring our burdens to Him. He is more than able to lift your burdens and give you peace. Then, when you arrive in Heaven someday, He promises to wipe away every tear from your eyes. At that moment, you will never again experience grief.
No matter what loss you have experienced in the past year, remember there is reason to celebrate Christmas. Knowing that God loved you so much that He gave His only begotten Son, that if you would believe in Him, you would not perish but have everlasting life, is reason enough to celebrate. Burdens are lifted at Calvary. Take your burdens to the Lord and leave them there. Jesus doeth all things well!
Jerry Fulton's goal in life is to share the love of Jesus, so others might become followers of Christ.