I heard a sermon today about how we should be more like little children who see Christmas and the birth of Christ with child like faith. He said they see the value of Christ and we adults most often see the cost. What does it cost me to believe? What does it cost to give of myself?

Over the years I have often thought that I should write a Christmas letter like many that I receive from friends and family. I enjoy getting and reading these letters, but whenever I think I might write one I get hung up over the fact that my life is not as fun, neat and painless as the letters I receive. I have never been able to get over that I don’t know how to share the good times without acknowledging the painful ones. I feel like I would be lying to tell about all the good things that have happened but don’t share about the wounds, the hurts and the losses I and my family have suffered. So I chose to not share at all, even a Christmas card with a picture has been out of reach for me.

Over the last few years, birthdays and holidays have become increasingly difficult for me. They just remind me of what I am missing, the broken relationships, the wounds in those I love, the things that I have hoped and longed for that have not come to pass. Today as I sat in church to celebrate the birth of Christ, as others were rejoicing, I was sorrowful and tried not to let those around me see the tears that were running down my cheeks.

But as the pastor spoke of value versus cost, I wondered is it wrong to count the cost? Following Christ does come at a cost. I chose Him and His ways over the ways of the world and my culture and this has cost me. It has cost me friendships, it has cost me loss of family and those I love dearly, it has cost me my reputation at times, it has cost me promotions at work. I could chose to compromise my faith to see restoration of some of these things but I don’t, I can’t, because honoring God with my life has become the most important thing in my life.

I was reminded that the value of the Cross must be my focus. Christ came so that there could be healing and wholeness. He came to bring life into the darkness of our pain, suffering and sin. Without His birth as a helpless, vulnerable baby, I would not have any Hope for restoration of relationships, healing of the woundedness in myself and others and freedom from the sin that so easily comes upon us. I am going to attempt to see the value and not dwell on the cost. He has restored my soul, He has captured my heart and I will walk with Him all of my days into eternity and beyond!