Merry Christmas to Hurting Children Everywhere

Christmas Hurting Child

Dear Hurting Child,

This weekend is Christmas! You probably knew that all ready. The malls have been decked out in red and green for well over a month now. Traffic is crazy, and you don’t even want to venture into the local store to do any last minute Christmas shopping (Trust me! I know!). Children have sent their Christmas wish lists to the North Pole. Parents have fretted over how to ensure that their kids get all that they want for Christmas. Stockings have been hung, Christmas Trees decorated, cookies baked and carols sung. There is no avoiding the spectacle that Christmas has become in our country.

All over this country this weekend, indeed all over the world, kids will open presents. Parents will take time out of their busy schedules to spend time rejoicing in the joy and happiness of their children. Stocking will be emptied, presents will be exchanged, laughter will be heard, and people will enjoy time together with family and close friends. Indeed, Christmas has become a time where family is celebrated and togetherness has become the ultimate goal.

Yet for many of you, we know that Christmas does not bring warm tidings of great joy. It comes with memories of the way Christmas used to be or maybe the way you wish it should be. It comes with decisions about who to spend this most important day with and desires for people long sense out of lives. For some it brings an overwhelming sense of loneliness even as they spend the day in the company of many people. We understand that Christmas can be a very stressful time for you and your families as you struggle with less time, less money and less togetherness. If Christmas is all about families and togetherness, then for many people it will not be much of a celebration at all these days.

But, that is not the end of the story. See, if Christmas is all about family and great tidings of good joy, then it is understandable why there might not be much there for you. But, Christmas is about so much more than that. Christmas is about the Creator of the Universe giving up everything He had in heaven to come to earth as a helpless infant. He gave up the adoration and worship of a multitude of angel for a dirty stable and a manger for a bed. He gave perfect union with the Heavenly Father to come and walk amongst His creation, and ultimately to be rejected by those He had given life.

Sometimes, especially when things in our lives are hectic or stressful, it’s easy to forget the God that we celebrate at Christmas time. He was born to a young woman who wasn’t married. As an infant and a young child, he didn’t really have a home. His adopted earthly father fled to Egypt on the advice of an angel sent from God the Father to avoid the wrath of another King who planned to kill all of the infant boys in the town where He has been born. Our King, our Savior, was born into a non-traditional family and faced scorn and ridicule well into his adult life about the family that he had come from. His own mother and brothers thought that he was mentally imbalanced. As a young man, his mother and family lost track of Him and left Him at the temple in Jerusalem for days before they noticed that He was missing. He knows the pain of being separated from His Father. They had lived in perfect union from eternity past, but He loved us enough to take on human form and give up that relationship to come to earth and eventually die on the cross for our sins. He knows the pain of separation as He was forsaken by the Heavenly Father while he hung on the cross.

So, this weekend as you celebrate Christmas, remember that it is not about trees or presents or ham or even family and being together. On Christmas we celebrate a choice. We celebrate the choice that Our God made to give up His majesty in heaven to be born in a lowly manger. We rejoice about a choice to take on human flesh in the form of a young baby born to a virgin mother and an adoptive earthly father of meager means in a town far away from their home in a stable likely surrounded by animals. We will sing carols about a choice to come and live a perfect life to die a death that we deserve as a punishment for our sins so that we can be forgiven when we put our faith in Him. Tomorrow, we celebrate not just a birth, but the birth of new life for all who will make Jesus the Lord of our Lives.

No matter what tomorrow holds for you and your family, remember that we serve a God who loves us no matter what, and always will. Our God can relate to our pain. Our God knows suffering. And, our God wants nothing more than for you to become a member of His family – an adopted son or daughter. God never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever, and He wants you to be a part of His family forever, and that is something that we can truly celebrate at Christmas!

This article is updated and adapted from an article originally published on Divorce Ministry 4 Kids on December 24, 2012.

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Written by Wayne Stocks

Wayne is the founder and executive director of Hope 4 Hurting Kids. He is a happily married father of four kids with a passion for helping young people who are going through rough times. In addition to Hope 4 Hurting Kids, Wayne previously started I Am A Child of Divorce and Divorce Ministry 4 Kids to help kids who are dealing with the disruption of their parents’ relationship. These are now part of Hope 4 Hurting Kids. Wayne speaks frequently at conferences and churches on issues related to helping kids learn to deal with difficult emotions and life in modern families.

Wayne lives with his wife, three youngest kids, three dogs and an insane collection of his kids’ other pets outside of Columbus, Ohio. In addition to his work with Hope 4 Hurting Kids, Wayne is a partner in a local consulting firm, an avid reader, coaches his son’s soccer team and is a proud supporter of Leicester City Football Club (and yes, for those in know, his affinity for the club does predate the 2016 championship).

You can reach Wayne at wayne@hope4hurtingkids.com.