Christmas can be joyful no matter our circumstances, because of the hope Jesus brought down from Heaven with His birth. Those of us blessed with the witness of parenthood forever share a piece of our souls, and it seems insurmountable to fill the void when those little lives that once clung to us in safety are replaced with somber quiet.
Parents lose their children every day. Many are lost to the epidemic of addiction. Divorced couples lose time with their children around the holidays. Grown children move out, leaving their parents to miss their chatter.
As I get ready to celebrate another blessed Christmas with my elementary-aged children, I am humbled in gratefulness and moved by the Spirit to pray for parents whose innocent Christmas joy is absent this year.
Hold onto these truths as we pray together today:
1. Remember, They are His
God loves every human being. He created each individual with unimaginable preciseness. Our job as parents is to lead them to their Father’s feet. When they are not near us, we can trust in prayer that He loves and protects them.
2. Give Him the Pain
The pain and fear of separation from our children cannot be always be explained, but it is never too much for God to bear. When we lift up the burdens of our hearts to Him in prayer, He promises to hear us and help us.
3. Seek Him Each Morning
Each day may bring new waves of fresh hurt, but moments with the Father at daybreak allow joy to weave hope back into our circumstances. Jesus is the key to finding peace in trying times. Find Him in prayer and God’s Word to face each new day in comfort and preparation.
Father, You are powerful to give life and are behind the essence of every living creature. So particularly crafted are the works of Your hands. When we look around, in any given season, we can see the evidence of Your artistry all around. Christmas reminds us of how much You love us. As Your own Son yielded His first cries in a manger, we began to feel the effects of Your grace.
You sent Jesus into the world for us. Not so that we would suffer in life, but live joyfully through it. Like the joy of our children unwrapping gifts Christmas morning, you anticipate the day each of your children will open up the gift You gave through Jesus.
Thank you, Father, for the gift of parenthood. In a mighty way, we get to peek into Your heart, and understand the love of our Father. For all of the joy that children bring to our hearts, we thank you. Even in the trials and frustrations of parenthood, the joy in their eyes and happiness in their laughter fills our hearts to the brim.
Father, forgive us, for we do not know how to cope without our children. Imperfect and impatient, we want to know why and stop the pain. We pray for parents of children that no longer walk this earth. Parents who have lost their relationship with their children, and those whose children have flown into the adult world to live their own lives. For divorced parents, who must share their children for the holidays. How hard it must be to embrace a quiet house, knowing they are celebrating in someone else’s.
Help us to remember that our children are Your children. That you care for them in addition to and despite our efforts. We are not privy to Your will for their lives. Help us to fulfill Your parental call on ours.
You promise us that there will be things we do not understand in this life, and that there will be pain. It’s hard to see past pain and onto the hope you give us in Jesus. This Christmas, the void will seem unfillable. The pain unbearable. Send your Spirit of comfort as we cry out to you.
Through prayer and Your Word, guide our hearts as we seek Your peace to replace the joyful sound of our kids this Christmas. Jesus brought hope and peace into this world with His birth. The closer we remain to You, the more we will feel peace and hope rekindled in our hearts. Father, you promise that when we seek You we will find You. Help us to seek You with all of our heart this Christmas. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Megs is a stay-at-home mom and blogger at http://sunnyand80.org, where she writes about everyday life within the love of Christ.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: December 20, 2016