By Norma Shull Smith

Tis the season, once again! The snow has arrived, and cold temperatures unwelcomed, but with those two elements, we know the biggest event of all time, is about to be celebrated in homes all across the world. Baking cookies and making candy, decorating of trees, outdoor lights, shopping, gift wrapping, holiday parties, laughter and tears, ready or not, it is about here!
I wish everyone could be happy and filled with the joy of Christmas. After all, why shouldn’t everyone be joyful?
We have those who lost their jobs and don’t have money to shop
We have people on tight budgets, and they have to decide if there is food on the table or gifts under the tree (if indeed there is a tree)
We have those whose loved one died and it will never be the same without their physical presence
We have those who don’t even have a home; they are truly homeless
We have those whose only mode of transportation went through repo recently
These points put it into reality, and certainly are reasons that throw people into a depressed state, yet if we truly know the Jesus of Christmas, there is still room for joy.
Joy doesn’t come in wrapped packages, or lighted trees, or special delicacies made only at this time of year.
Joy starts within the mind and how we think. Joy comes as a result of choices we make.
Scripture says to “Rejoice for this is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24
I’m sure you have seen the poorest of 3rd world countries on television documentaries. This summer my youngest daughter had the honor of visiting a village family and was welcomed to their home. The couple had several little children and their home was a literal shack made of tree branches and scraps they could find. Something far less than a chicken coup in America. When she arrived, the mother was in their yard of dirt, bare-footed because they don’t have shoes, playing a tambourine and the children were rejoicing through songs. The children and parents literally have nothing materially, yet they have found within their hearts the joy of the Lord.
When we go through things like those in bullet points above, and invite Jesus to be our strength, invite Him to be in our hearts and ask Him to help us as we move through the situation we are in, we can choose to be joyous. Begin by thanking Him that you have life, that you woke up, and that God has a season for all things. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.
If you aren’t in these circumstances and all seems well in your world, take some time to reach out to someone who is struggling, for that will be the beginning of a joyous Christmas. Putting your feet, hands, and resources to action for Him. Merry Christma!.
Please join me daily with devotional messages to build your faith, encourage and strengthen you as you end 2019 and begin 2020 at

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