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Celebrating Christmas when you don't feel like celebrating Christmas

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Many of us struggle with personal issues that threaten to drag us down every day and the pain of those issues seems to really explode during the Christmas Holidays; a marriage gone sour, a loved one struggling with sickness, piled-up debts, etc., etc., etc.
When this problem hits me, the antidote I eventually use is to think about events in the lives of other people I know or know of and how they must have felt. Take Mary and Joseph, for instance, in the days just before Jesus was born. They are both young, betrothed to each other, facing the burden of being parents while in their teens. On top of that, she is in the late stages of pregnancy and they have to take a long trip via donkey over mountains and through valleys to enroll in a census the Roman emperor has ordered.
Mary is in serious discomfort. The baby in her womb is restive as they bounce along on the donkey's back. Joseph is tired and frustrated. Being the donkey that he is, their animal gets cantankerous sometimes and refuses to obey Joseph. Not only does Joseph serve as guide for the journey, it is also his job to protect Mary and the baby from attackers (human or animal). He is under enormous pressure.
We all know what happens when they arrive at Bethlehem. They find that they appear to be late arrivals. They go from inn to inn, house to house, only to be turned away because each place is full of people. Finally, one innkeeper points them toward a stall used by animals and they set up housekeeping in the company of cattle. Mary goes into labor. She and Joseph are both teenagers. They are frightened and they struggle to figure out what to do.
As I muse on that scene, I can literally feel my problems beginning to shrink by comparison and I am grateful for the example of their courage and committment both to each other, to their Child, and to God. And I remember the Apostle Paul's words in Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
SLE
 
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Often when I have situations test and trials knocking at my door I think of Job and all he went through then I dig in the scriptures that fit my area of problems and STAND on them. I know my God will not fail me nor will he ever leave nor foresake me. when i have been wrong in the past he never left me it was only me pulling away from hIM . well God bless you
 
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