Change finds all of us at different times in our lives, but it seems the most poignant during the holidays. I personally know two pastors who will face this holiday season, for the first time, without their wife of many years by their side. Although they have the assurance that their loved one is in heaven, the sting of grief and loneliness hits hard this time of year. Family traditions, that may have been in place for years, change in the absence of your spouse – your soulmate.
I experienced this change in my own life a few years ago and understand the loss of equilibrium that takes place. Although you try to preserve some of your family traditions for the sake of stability – it’s not the same. So you muddle through, secretly wishing the festivities were over.
Traditions add structure and continuity to our lives. They give us a sense of stability and security amidst life’s ups and downs. But when radical change hits – change that can’t be ignored or denied – our world is rocked. Everything seems amiss and we are left hobbling on one leg, so to speak, until we can find our balance again.
And we do find our balance again – with God’s help and strength. We learn to trust Him with our future – and with our present. Although our holiday traditions will never be the same, we find ways to integrate their sense of purpose into our new celebrations. We learn to appreciate those around us even more as we create new memories with family, friends, and loved ones.
May God bless you if this season finds you in the midst of change – change you didn’t ask for – change you didn’t expect. May the comfort of the Holy Spirit flow over you as a warm soothing balm and may God’s unfailing love give you the stability and strength your heart desires.
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock Eternal. Isaiah 26:3-4 (NIV)