Is There Hope for Hurting Parents in the Christmas Story?

manger sceneAre you a mom or dad in deep pain today due to the behaviors and choices, emotional and mental anguish of your child? Find comfort in knowing that with God anything is possible. Nothing is too hard for Him. This is the message of hope for us in the Christmas story. Maybe you’re losing hope. Losing faith. You used to believe. Your faith was strong at the beginning of this journey. But it’s taking so long, you’re not so sure any more.

You’re weary. Worn out. Defeated. It’s cost you so much. There have been countless losses. Nothing’s the same. So many painful memories. It’s possible you’ve even stopped praying. It hasn’t done any good. Where are the answers you expected, then begged and pleaded for as the days, months and years wore on? You may be wondering if your prayers are going anywhere at all. Are they really reaching God’s ears? Nothing’s happening – that you can see anyway.

If you were really honest and said what you were thinking you would ask someone, “Doesn’t God care? Doesn’t he love me enough to answer my prayers for my child? Is my request too hard?” Faith is draining out into the darkness of your soul – and you don’t know how to plug the leak.

Let the miracle of the Christmas story touch your heart afresh. I urge you to go back and read the account of the birth of Jesus, the Son of God, all over again. Try to see it with new eyes, like you’ve never seen it before. Read the accounts in each of the gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Luke’s is the most detailed. Sit down with a cup of something hot and stay there awhile. Ponder it. Savor it. Notice what stands out to you, what key words jump out at you. Smell the smells, hear the sounds. I have no clue what a huge crowd of singing angels sounds like, but I’m sure it’s pretty awesome. They were kind of excited. Try to feel the story as it unfolds. Put yourself in the shoes of the key players.

If a baby can be born to a virgin, then what can’t God do? If angels can suddenly appear  in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere with a message of good news to all people – then what else is possible? If a star can appear in the sky that was never there before, then slowly move, mysteriously leading those who followed to an exact location, and everything they were told came true – what can happen in our child’s life? Maybe, just maybe, a miracle.

The angels proclaimed, “Peace on earth, good will to men.” We sure need that, don’t we? Peace – the absence of stress and trouble, contentment, calm, tranquility and serenity. Good will – God’s purposes, good works, and plans fulfilled. Yes, Lord, yes. We’re starving for this.

No guarantees are given to us that things will turn out like we want – or that our child’s messes will clean up without any consequences or long-term effects, but with God there is always hope. Always. As long as they are still breathing there. is. hope.

This is one of my favorite Bible verses on hope: “May the God of hope, fill you with joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  (Romans 15:13)

Here’s my prayer for you: God, Author of the Christmas story, what a miracle the birth of Jesus was, along with many of the details that surrounded it. Fill us once again with fresh hope that if you could do these things over two thousand years ago, then you can still do a miracle for us today. We need one so badly. Help us keep believing, keep praying – no matter what’s happening. Our faith’s been faltering, so help us be like the shepherds and keep our eyes on the bright Morning Star, Jesus. By faith, we receive Your peace and good will, whether our child is ever okay or not. We holding onto the hope of Christmas!

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