It’s a Covid Christmas for us.

After an accidental Covid exposure, we are home quarantined, streaming our church’s Christmas Eve service from our computer, and it feels all too familiar to Christmas of 2020. And I’ll be honest, I had to work hard to hold back the tears, streaming that service. I wanted to be with my people; I want to be with my people when we celebrate tomorrow and all next week, and now all hangs in the balance as we wait for Covid tests and pray for a symptom-free Christmas.

If you’ve followed my blogging journey at all, you know that I have walked through wildernesses with the Lord before, but the loneliness this year runs deep, and my heartaches along with it, particularly as I see others wading through their own muddy waters too.

I was ready to ride the tide, I told the Lord. (And I told you all, if you saw my previous post). I was ready to let the world bring me along in their Christmas joy while my heart felt weary and weighed down by all the sorrow around me. And now, here I sit on Christmas Eve, huddled around a screen and wishing I could hear the voices of the crowd ringing in the Christmas cheer.

But you know what? Covid can’t take away Jesus. And I have Him. And so once again, I find myself saying here in my weary wilderness, that I CAN live by every word of God that proceeds from His mouth. And that word is Jesus. For…

“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.” Hebrews 1:1-2

He IS the Word of God. And when I find my soul bereft of all I would long to fill it with, I find I still have Him.

It doesn’t feel great, being without my friends and extended family this Christmas Eve. The wilderness doesn’t feel good.

But hope isn’t what we feel. It’s what we have when all our feelings scream the opposite. Hope is what we hold onto in the dark, even when our hearts are failing to feel it.

“My heart and my flesh may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26

I don’t know what will happen this year for our family. May we will be graced with negative Covid tests and still be able to celebrate next week with our extended family.

But either way, once again, God has given me the greatest gift of all: the sustenance of His Word, Himself, Jesus, God incarnate, Emmanuel: God with us.

Merry Christmas 2021.