One lost a mother. One lost a son. One lost a husband.
Too many to count have lost jobs.
This morning I sent out Christmas cards, thankful to finally get them out of my house and into the hands of people who have not heard from me in a couple of years.
But as I was addressing the cards this past weekend, I was struck by how many people on my list have gone through really hard things recently. Loss. Disappointment. Great hardship.
My heart aches for all the grief that’s out there, because I know that grief seems especially close at this time of year. Even long-held grief rears its ugly head and reminds you of the empty place at the dinner table or the days spent in the hospital at just this time of year.
Grief is especially active right now.
As I stuffed envelopes I found myself praying for my friends, especially those who have suffered this past year, losing loved ones and jobs.
And I wondered, yet for the thousandth time, why me?
Why am I blessed with healthy children? Why do I have a happy marriage? Why are we able to stay in our home and dodge the economic bullets that seem to have ravaged so many people these days?
I’ll admit, it is the question on my mind so often—why me? Why us? Why, Lord?
It’s not that we’re smarter, wiser, more astute than others. It’s certainly not that we’re kinder, more generous, or more loving (if you think that, you obviously weren't at our Christmas card photo shoot). Our being “spared,” for now, has nothing to do with us or the way we live or the way we act at all.
We can’t bring blessing upon ourselves.
Old Testament prophets knew that blessings come from the hand of God. Job knew it too, and trusted it completely. As far as I know, Lot did not blame God when he lost everything, including his wife.
So if this blessed life that I have been given is not at all from my own hand, I must simply accept it with a heart filled with gratitude.
This year my prayer has been that in every Christmas light (even the ones that keep going out in front of my house!), in every glistening ornament, in every flickering candle flame I would see God for who He is—the giver of every good gift.
And if you are grieving this year, I am praying that you will be able to see Him too.
Linking this post to Emily's Tuesdays Unwrapped. Head over there to read more.
Photo credit #1, #2.