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Monday, December 12 (Suggested reading: Habakkuk 3:17-19; Revelation 21:1-4)

The Christmas season is not always merry. Ironically, the festivities, decorations, parties and celebrations often remind us of the what-if’s of life, the disappointments, the short-comings, the reality that life doesn’t always have a happy “Hallmark” ending.

Thankfully, we know that Christmas is just the beginning of the story and the message of Christmas is not just about the nativity, but about the hope we have of a future in the eternal presence of God. And because of this hope, we can keep our hearts on the joys awaiting us in eternity and rise above the barren places in life.

From The Finishing Touch by Charles Swindoll:
Take from us our wealth and we are hindered.
Take our health and we are handicapped.
Take our purpose and we are slowed, temporarily confused.

 But take away our hope, and we are plunged into deep darkness…stopped dead in our tracks, paralyzed. Wondering, “Why?”

Asking, “How much longer? Will this darkness ever end? Does He know where I am?”

 Then the Father says, “That’s far enough,” and how sweet it is! Like blossoms in the snow, long-awaited color returns to our life. The stream, once frozen starts to thaw. Hope revives and washes over us.

 Inevitably, spring follows winter. Every year. Yes, including this one.

 Barren days, like naked limbs, will soon be clothed with fresh life. Do you need that reminder today? Are you ready for some sunshine on your shoulders…a few green sprouts poking up through all that white? A light at the end of your tunnel?

 Look! There it is in the distance. It may be tiny, but it’s there.