Peace and love to you all.
I hope you all had a lovely, comfortable, joyous Christmas full of laughter, love, and gifts galore. Up here in the Dakotas, we had a lot of snow. Still do, in fact, to go along with temperatures so cold that you actually have a physiological anger response to the bitterness. Suffice to say, we have been indoors quite a lot.
December has been a busy month, with Adam's and Mom's birthdays back-to-back along with the Christmas festivities. We have been celebratory and found a lot of joy in those times. Sure, a lot of pain as well. For Christmas, we eschewed several traditions we had done in the past simply because they wouldn't be the same or would hurt without Dad here to take part in them. However, we did keep some alive. The decorating, the clam chowder, the early mornings, and the beauty of the season all were in large amount, though nothing in more volume than the love, anticipation, and celebration of the birth of the Christ Child.
In times such as these, whether someone is grappling with personal grief and worry with deaths, financial worries, or anything like that, or if people are looking at the world on a large scale with trepidation for the simple continuation of life and happiness, emotions and worry can become overwhelming. We can become lost in ourselves and what we feel. Those are normal reactions and God feels our pain every step of the way. The thing is, in this season, God provides us all a reset. A rest. A moment of unadulterated joy as His Son enters the world. A child of light and dedicated love that is sent to take away the power of death and sin from our lives. What greater gift is there than that?
This season can be difficult for so many and, if you are one of them, know that you are not alone. You are prayed for and loved by more than you know. And as we approach the New Year with the chance to try again after what was, by most accounts, one of the worst years in recent memory, we still get to enter a new start with the knowledge that God is with us and has given us what we need, even if it doesn't always feel that way.
May you find peace and love and stability and rest in this holy time.
Thanks be to God.
After 43 years of ministry, Randy Cross lived his "fourth life" and shared about retirement, living boldly and intentionally in our world. To be sure, there was some North Dakota thrown in.