What you have done never seems to escape you. Where you are now is painful. Where you are headed is terrifying. Every Holiday season has the capacity to wear you out emotionally, physically, and financially. The stress can be overwhelming! How can we defeat the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future? How can we restore joy in our hearts and a spring in our step? How can we rise out of bed with a smile and go to sleep in peace?
Ghost of Christmas Past
We all have a past. We all have regrets in life. We can go back to a moment where
- I wish I had not said that
- I wish I had not done that
- I wish I could change my reaction
- I wish I could have that moment back
The problem is we cannot. Our past is just that….past. It is gone, but the hurt and harm lingers for some still today. The thought of the Baby Child reminds us of the abortion years ago….or last year. Mary and Joseph in the stable reminds you of poor upbringing and the issues that surrounded your home. The small insignificant town of Bethlehem overshadowed by Jerusalem reminds you of the small town where you grew up. You fight it. You relive it. You hate it. The chains of the ghost of Christmas past are clanking in the back of your mind.
Ghost of Christmas Present
Far too many people live in stress and struggle to survive. Our past controls us. Our past haunts us. The present circumstances we face are daunting and we do not have the esteem or confidence to deal properly with people or projects. We overspend trying to wash away the guilt or shame of the past and now we multiply it presently. We are deep in debt and have no hope but to be buried. Our marriage is in shambles and our kids are crazy. We find ourselves cranky the whole month and wish it were just over. We are alone in a sea of people. Either we see the bad in everything that is happening and cannot see the good, or we mask ourselves with made-up joy in order to avoid the stares and inquiries of family and friends. There is no life in that life for sure.
Ghost of Christmas Future
Where we have been and who we are today are inexplicably tied together. It is our choice what we do with all of those experiences. Our future is still a thing to be shaped, or resurrected. Our future has not yet come and can still be altered from the path on which you travel today. Without some change, hope is all but dashed. With some moment of awakening, the slumber of our soul and moral compass will be something from which you never recover. The future as you see it now may be bleak, but it can be bright.
O Little Town of Bethlehem
And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.
The little, insignificant, bedroom community of Bethlehem has a rich history. God had prepared her for centuries. He had a great work He wanted to accomplish in her.
- Rachel reveal a sense of birth and death.
- Ruth reveals a promise of redemption.
- David reveals an anointing of a king.
- Micah reveals of promise of hope in the Messiah.
God used the event of Bethlehem’s history to shape her for just this moment so she could receive the Christ child.
God Bless Us Every One!
Your past that haunts and the present that hurts you does not have to bind you in the future. Those events and circumstances that you have viewed for so long to be negative could actually be what propels you into a great work tomorrow. These have all shaped you to be who you are today:
- Spiritual Events
- Cultural Circumstances
You, like Bethlehem, may view yourself or be viewed by others, as being without value. You might not think you are worth a second glance. But God has watched and waited for just this moment. You are just the right spot for God to do His greatest work. There is someone God wishes to reach with the Gospel and another to whom He wishes to grant great joy! The former is yet to be known, but the latter is you. God wants to bring you joy as He works through you to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Silencing the Voices
There are 3 things you must do in order to overcome those ghosts who haunt you.
1. Be aware. Slow down and consider that God wishes to use every part of your past and present. Nothing happens by chance or fate. God is control and allows what He deems necessary in order for the greater good of the Gospel and His Kingdom. Evaluate your life experience based on this new consideration
2. Be a friend. There is someone who needs your life and experience in order to find God. Someone near you is going through a life event: birth, death, graduation, grief, promotion, bankruptcy, divorce, marriage, etc. These are great moments to be their friend. Laugh and cry with them.
3. Be ready. Silence is golden unless God calls you to speak. Be ready to share your life and story. Bridge the gap and heal the hurt they may have with God.