Merry Christmas from the Hammers

I read this post below by our pastor and it just hit me so hard after this Christmas. There is just something about the holidays that is such a magnifier in our lives. The holidays magnify the good… and they magnify the bad. They magnify the brokenness and the light in this world.

 If things are good in your life, Christmas tends to magnify that goodness. That which is good seems better. A good family seems great. A good party seems fantastic. A good memory becomes an even better one. Christmas magnifies the good. But unfortunately, it also can magnify what is difficult. If you are struggling, Christmas season can almost make the struggle seem more intense. Financial stress is tough any time of the year. In December, it can feel unbearable. A challenged relationship with extended family is never fun. It seems to be accentuated during the holidays. If you normally battle with loneliness, Christmastime may be the loneliest time of all. Rather than just focusing on yourself this Christmas Day, what you got and what you have, how much you got, who you saw, how the kids looked, I’d encourage you to focus on Christ. Today we celebrate the greatest gift in history, our Savior’s birth. As you focus on Jesus, worship God for His goodness, His love, His sacrifice. We are told to magnify Him, to glorify Him together. What does that mean? Among other things, magnify simply means to make bigger. What if you made God a bigger part of your life? Not just on Christmas Day, but every day. What if you allowed His goodness, His will, His plans to consume your thinking? What if you made His presence the biggest priority of all? If you are going to magnify anything this Christmas, magnify Christ.

It’s been the hardest Christmas for me in my adult life. The presence of divorce, addiction, hate, and broken relationships in my family has been magnified exponentially this year. It’s stolen the glory, goodness, and hope of the season for me in a lot of ways.

BUT

Even though Christmas has passed, I’m choosing to magnify what matters most in my life. Christ. My marriage. My children. My community.

What are you choosing to magnify? Is something stealing your attention and glory that isn’t worthy? Fight it. Pivot. Think about whatever in your life is lovely, pure, right, just, and praiseworthy.

Keep your eyes up.

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