As this most wonderful time of the year--Christmas--inches closer, many of us don’t feel the joy we’re entitled to. Some are better at masking inner pain than others are. But grief is no less a burden just because we’re good at hiding it.
Personally, the stress my family and I are going through is like nothing we’ve faced before. We’re struggling with a rapid decline in my father-in-law’s health. In navigating the maze of decisions that come with rehab and hospice, it’s an understatement to say that patience has worn thin and emotions have run high. Hurtful words were spoken during what started as loving conversations. Good intentions were perceived as ill. Confidential discussions seemed necessary but ended up alienating somebody.
In all this turmoil, it’s difficult to know who is hurting the most. But it is my father-in-law, Ken, who asked, “How long must I suffer?” His pain is physical, emotional, and spiritual.
I realize I don’t have the answer Ken's looking for, but I do trust that God is weaving something good from this experience. He's blessed us with a sermon that Pastor Janet wrote in 1994. I’m sharing it here and hoping that her words and wisdom offer solace to those hurting during this holiday season.
And because singing helps me through my most difficult times, I added a hymn I found on YouTube. Maybe you're familiar with the song?