This is the Christmas that no one ever wants. It will be the first Christmas with both my father and mother in the presence of the Lord. I walked with Doug through this when his father, then mother, passed away. I knew it would be painful.
So, here I am this Christmas walking where many of you have walked, and many are walking for the first time. Without the hope of the gospel, these days can feel so empty.
My Dad died in September of this year. He lived a long and fruitful life for Jesus, passing away at age 96. For my four sisters and I, we were thankful that he was in relatively good health for that age up to about a week before he died.
As I have reflected on this unusual Christmas, I have been reminded of an event that occurred on Christmas Eve, 2005, when my mother died.
I was standing beside my Mother’s hospital bed along with my Father and one of my sisters. During the conversation, we mentioned it was Christmas Eve. Without any prompting, and to our surprise, Mother began singing Away in A Manger. When the chorus ended she continued to sing, “I love Thee Lord Jesus, I love Thee Lord Jesus”. In that moment, the Holy Spirit gently spoke to me, “Out of the fullness of the heart, the mouth speaks.” It was the last song I heard her sing. In the early morning of December 26, she went to be with the Lord Jesus that she loved so much.
I’ve often thought about that night and what the Holy Spirit spoke to me. During these times I am reminded of Mary who kept all these things and pondered them in her heart (Luke 2:19). I’ve been asking the Lord, “What’s stored in my heart?” Perhaps for all of us, the question of “What’s stored in our hearts” is pertinent. I invite you to join me in this pray of releasing and receiving.
Dear Lord Jesus,
I want my heart to have room for only those things that are from You. Clean away all of the things that crowd You out. I release all that You bring to my heart that needs to be released.I receive from You all the love, peace, and hope that You offer through Your resurrection. Put a love song in my heart that will flow from me to You until the end. I love you, Lord Jesus. Amen
Susan R. Beacham