The holiday season marks change for many of us. Doubtless, it involves heartache and loss as well as Christmas joy. I know it does for me.
Earlier this year, I lost my dearly loved adopted aunt to cancer. Adjusting to life without her has been difficult – particularly during the holidays. Not seeing her smiling face at church events and Christmas plays has been a strange adjustment, filled with the sense of aching loss that only those who have lost a loved-one can understand.
Yet, as the Lord often arranges it, He did not just take this year – He gave as well. Earlier this year, He brought my sweet boyfriend into my life. The joys have been indescribable.
I remember being congratulated on my new relationship on the very day my aunt died. It was such a strange incident, accepting warm congratulations while dealing with intense loss. I recall mentioning how mysteriously the Lord works – how He often mingles joy in the midst of our sorrows.
And, for some reason, I have not been able to erase what is commonly known as the Magnificat from my mind. In loss and in joy – the words have continually been with me.
In case you do not know, the Magnificat is Mary’s words of praise to the Lord. She, too, was faced with immense emotions. The joy of bearing the Savior of the world was great. But so were other emotions – the sorrow of false accusation, the worries of facing her betrothed, and the haunting reality she might perish under Jewish law if no one believed her story. Yet, Mary sang praises to her God.
…And Mary said, "My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation," (Luke 1:46-50 KJV).
Beautiful. Reverent. In the midst of her turbulent worries and joys, Mary was praising the Lord. Whatever came her way, she knew God was in control and had a special purpose for her life. She was humble, but she still publicly proclaimed her gratitude to Jehovah God, rejoicing in what He had done in her life.
This Christmas, we, too, can proclaim our gratitude. In loss, pain, loneliness, or even radiate happiness, words of praise are for today. Like Mary, our joy may be mixed with worry or uncertainties. Let us still magnify His name.
For He has regarded us, and His mercy is from generation to generation.