Leave it to a cemetery to be the one place I can seek refuge from the scurry and stress of the holiday season. There’s a sense of peacefulness here that wafts through the air.
The only break in silence is the chirping of birds and a soft buzz of cars passing by. The weather is pleasant and the sun is on full display on this mid-December day. Mini Christmas trees and decorations are strung about headstones. Some extravagant, some subtle but all to say, “I miss you”.
I glance over my shoulder and notice a new gravesite nearby. It’s decorated with a little picket fence and fake snow. There’s a mini Christmas tree and even a mailbox for Santa. The headstone has not yet been laid and there’s no indication as to who’s resting place this is. As I admire the decor my eyes catch something, one ornament dangling from the Christmas tree; I peer closer and read the words “Merry Christmas Cindi” inscribed on it. By the size of the site, I can tell Cindi is a child, most likely a toddler. I wonder what her story is about? What kind of life did she live and why was it cut short? I wonder who is the mother and/or father grieving over this child?
Questions that only God knows.
I glance back over at my own child’s gravesite and realize, the one thing that use to fill me with fear and despair is now replaced with peace and hope.
What peace in knowing that she is present with the Lord.
What peace in knowing that this life is not all.
What peace in knowing that I will see her again.
There may be a physical grave in the ground but that is not our final destination; Jesus Christ came and He conquered spiritual death on our behalf.
A solemn reminder of the real reason for this Christmas season. How trivial everything else seems in comparison to this truth.
If you are caught in the scurry and scamper this season can bring, I urge you take some time to be still before God; whether it’s a cemetery or park or some other quiet place — get alone with God. Let him remind you of the hope, peace and the joy found in Jesus.
For those of you missing a loved one this Christmas, let the hope of eternal life abound. Be reminded of how the birth of Christ changed the trajectory for all who believe in Him. If you are outside of a saving faith then ask the Lord to enter into your heart. He will fill that emptiness with peace as you wait to be reunited with those you’ve loved and lost.
Thank You for Your loving faithfulness. Thank You for conquering the fear of death through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank You for giving us hope and peace — a gift that is beyond measure. Please don’t allow the distractions of this world to cloud out the true meaning and beauty of Christmas. Fill my heart with joy and gladness. Help us to remember and celebrate those we’ve lost but more importantly, help us to find hope in the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ. Your word says You will “wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (Rev. 21:4) I anxiously await this day but until then, I place my hope and trust in You. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
God bless you and Merry Christmas,