Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. – James 1:12
We often see idealised images of family life in TV ads over Christmas, the perfect couple with the perfect children in a beautiful house with no problems. Somehow these people manage to be happy, wealthy good looking and stress free! There are no bills, no carpet stains, no tensions and no health problems.
How do they manage it? Simple, it’s fiction! Real life is just not like that!
Even our images of the nativity are idealised with a content and prayerful Mary and Joseph, no apparent blood, sweat or tears in childbirth! The cattle are behaving themselves and even the shepherds look smart in their neatly pressed outfits!
How do they manage it? Simple, it’s fiction! There would have been plenty of blood, sweat and tears around the birth of the Christ child, the cattle would have done smelly animal things and the Shepherds would have been as smelly as the animals.
The WONDERFUL thing about all of this is that in the midst of the blood, sweat, tears, smells and generally unhygienic surroundings came the Saviour of the World! The encouragement for us is that even in the midst of the agony and stench of life in an imperfect world Jesus is at the centre. Whatever you are going through today, Jesus is walking by your side supporting you, praying for you, holding you up, just reach out, he is there, forever faithful.