12.20.2019

Joyful & Triumphant

Several years ago I was listening to the Christmas carol "O Come All Ye Faithful" when two words stood out to me: Joyful and Triumphant.

At that time, I was facing some big changes and was greatly encouraged by those words; I was strengthened in realizing that because of Christ and who I am in him, I can be joyful and triumphant in all situations.

A couple of weeks ago as we put up our Christmas decorations, that same carol came on and the two words called out to me again. I scrawled them on our chalkboard in sweeping cursive and put it up in our dining room.

It has been a very stressful month for me work wise. From repeatedly running into red tape when trying to get students help to tight deadlines to frayed communication, there has been more than one night that I woke up at 2 am with my brain whirring. I've gone through my evenings still holding onto the tension and questions that I struggled with at school. I've woken up feeling like there won't be a possible solution.

I've been anything but joyful and triumphant.

Then the other morning before the sun had risen I was taking my dog out in the yard. The moon, the fog, the bird's nest in the tree caught my eye and I remembered: My God is bigger than all of this.

He's bigger than work stresses. He's bigger than flawed systems. He's bigger than conflicts, and unexpected changes, and difficult emotions.

As our Christmas celebrations remind us, Jesus came down to Earth to save us,  and that means we can be joyful and triumphant in all things. Through him, I have already won. I already have everything I need. I need not fret, because in the end I have the most important thing: his love.

I remembered that my perspective and worldview is based upon grace. That though I make mistakes, though I have a lot to learn, God is at work in me. I can learn. I can do better. And there is room and grace for me to fall, and for me to feel less than victory, knowing he will scoop me up in his triumph and joy and invite me to bask in his glory and love.

As you weather the hectic holiday season, whether stress is familial, work related, or something else, remember that Jesus invites you to find triumph and joy in him. Through him, we are already shining brightly, despite whatever challenges we face.

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