Disappointment & Hope at Christmastime

The family and I ventured out of sunny and warm California this week to come to the midwest. When our¬†plane touched down, C looked out the window and exclaimed, “There’s no snow!!”

Oops. ūüôĀ

The trip we had been planning for months so we could¬†visit our relatives and play with snow was not turning out the way we had expected. Both E and C were (and still are) very disappointed in the sunny and warm (according to the natives here) 40 degree F weather and lack of white, fluffy stuff. Even I’m disappointed, especially since I found a great¬†deal on snow pants (thank you Target!) and managed to squeeze four pairs of them (along with gifts and all of our other clothing)¬†into the¬†luggages.

Although our bubbles have been bursted by this non-white Christmas, I know our disappointment is minor compared to the unexpected circumstances of the very first Christmas. Can you imagine being pregnant and having to travel miles and miles only to reach your destination and discover there was no place for you to stay? And what about having to give birth to your first child and having nowhere to place him but in a feeding trough for animals?

Talk about disappointments.

You’ve gotta hand it to Mary and Joseph for persevering through the obstacles and setbacks they faced. I can only imagine how surprised and frustrated and exhausted they must have felt¬†as newlyweds and soon-to-be new parents. But through it all, something kept them going. I think that something was hope.

Hope that¬†what the angel Gabriel told them would come true. Hope that the baby in Mary’s womb was the long-awaited Savior of the world.

Image courtesy of digidreamgrafix/freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of digidreamgrafix/freedigitalphotos.net

It was that hope that inspired Mary to sing this song (from Luke 1:47-55):

“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. 

From now on all generations will call me blessed¬†for the Mighty One has done great things for me‚ÄĒholy is his name.

His mercy extends to those who fear him from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.

He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. 

He has helped his servant Israel,¬†remembering to be merciful¬†to Abraham and his descendants forever,¬†just as he promised our ancestors.‚ÄĚ

Yes, in this world we will face many disappointments of all shapes and sizes and throughout each season of life, even at Christmastime. But we also, like Mary, have so many reasons to persevere and to hope.

Hope that each new morning¬†brings with it new opportunities. Hope that¬†we can¬†make each day more meaningful than the last. Hope in¬†the love of family and friends to sustain us.¬†Most of all, hope in God’s promise¬†to give¬†everlasting hope to each one of us through Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection.

That certainly makes up for a snowless day any day. ūüôā

So here’s wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas! Take a listen to this beautifully sung song, “Mary, Did You Know?” by Pentatonix.

What are you hopeful about on this Christmas day?

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