Monday, December 14, 2015

Resting in Heavenly Peace

Do you see him there in this picture, sandwiched between us all, directly between our two living boys? No?

Of course you don’t. But I do.

I see him there always, but even more so this time of year. While other people are busy having visions of sugar plums dancing, I have visions of what our life would be like with a third, rambunctious boy thrust in the mix. One more little boy, a would be 4 year old this year, sitting on Santa’s lap with his brothers, voices raised trying to be the first to tell Jolly Old Saint Nick his wants and dreams. If only it were that simple for adults, for me. Wouldn’t it be grand to simply tell Santa I want my son back with me, with our family, and then Christmas morning find him there?

If only things worked that way. If only the magic of our childhood could bring us our deepest desires. 

If only.

Christmas is about so many things. It’s about magic and wonderment and joy and hope. With Santa comes the mystery and magic, the element of surprise and the joy of giving to others. For Christians, like myself, Christmas is a promise. With the birth of our Savior, came the hope of redemption, of life everlasting. And that is what I cling to this holiday season, this Christmas season. For as much as I love the idea and the magic of Santa, he can’t bring my son back to me no matter how far he digs into his big red bag. No matter how much I want it and believe it, it isn’t within his capability. He is, after all, only a figment of Christmas. But Christ, He can. No, not now, but one day because of Him, I can be reunited with my son. Because of Him, there is Hope. Because of His promises, I can still enjoy the magic of the season through the eyes of my living children  - because of that hope, because of His promise.  

I suppose I am writing this all as a reminder to myself.  During this season, it's so easy to allow the sadness to seep in and slowly take over. After all, everywhere are reminders of Cain's absence. Even if those around me don't see them, I know they are there. It's when the void of his presence feels too much to bear that I reach for the hope that is everlasting, the hope that has carried me through the last four years and the holidays that came with them. Remember that this Christmas season.

Remember the grave is not the end for our children. Remember, despite our sadness, they are having the most wonderful Christmas in heaven. Remember what Santa can't give us, Christ can. Our children may not be alive with us, but they do live in God's eternal  joy, a joy that we will one day share with them. Our children now rest in the heavenly peace we only sing about.

Cling to that this Christmas season. Cling to the hope, cling to the Spirit. And may the peace that passes all understanding be yours this Christmas.

Philippians 4:7

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