There’s room for you, your doubts and your busyness on the journey. Let’s walk on. And let’s lift up our heads.

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Week 2: Head Up

“But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.” – Psalm 3:3

Some years, we just don’t feel it. Right? That Christmas bliss that we’re “supposed” to feel this time of year. The adoration and joy that accompanies the day that our Saviour became flesh to be here with us on this earth. Some years, we feel completely burdened.

The heaviness of what we see on the news everyday outweighs the giddiness of putting up a pine tree in the living room.

The pulsing of our broken hearts from a year of deep loss beats louder than the Christmas carols on our speakers.

The echoes of our brothers and sisters crying in desperation, “Lord, come soon”, course deeper in our veins than our worshipful choruses.

Look up - Unsplash

Some days, the world does not feel calm and bright. It feels like it’s busting at the seams. Everything just hurts, and we can’t find the answer as to why. We look around us to see if there is anything that can fix it or give answers to the brokenness we feel. We remedy the questions because we’re afraid we won’t find what we’re looking for. But, everything falls short. Nothing satisfies.

The psalmist David often felt similar. In Psalm 3, he writes about being surrounded by his foes, each one trying to convince him that God has abandoned him. That God will not deliver him. But David speaks truth into these lies.

“You are my shield,” he says. “The One who lifts my head.” (Psalm 3:3)

David’s confidence, even when everything else around him was crumbling, teaches us something valuable about our God. He is Emmanuel—God with us.

 God with us in the sorrow, and the pain and the questioning.

 God with us when we can’t sing the worship choruses on the screen.

 God with us when it all hurts too much, and we feel we have nothing left to give.

It is not in spite of, but because of our hurt and pain that we celebrate this Christmas season. Because we serve a God who knows pain. Who is the ultimate Hope. Who has come to restore all things. Who invites us to bring our heaviness and pain and lay it at his feet.

We lift our heads up this Christmas season because we know we need the kind of Hope that only comes from Christ our King. Hope that is hefty and lasting and will not die out.

Grace from Uganda has mastered what it means to raise her head to Christ alone for grounding rather than anywhere else. Grace was born with only one limb and faced massive rejection and ridicule from her family and friends. The pain of rejection brought her to feel bitter towards everyone around her. But, it was through seeking God in her pain that she found her hope and her strength.

I came to realize that it was God who had kept me alive and he must have a purpose for me… I want to tell people that you are not a mistake. You were created by God and you have a purpose. Regardless of how others see you, your worth and value comes from God.”

Reflection

Where do you go when you feel overwhelmed by your own hurt or the heaviness of the world around you? What habits have you cultivated that prevent you from looking up to Christ when you need comfort?

Prayer

Jesus, sometimes the pain of my circumstances and the weight of the world around me make it hard for me to see the truth—that you are my ever-present help. That your yoke is easy and your burden is light. Amen.

Action

Take some time in your morning or evening routine to still your heart, light a candle and read through a Psalm of lament. Bring your sorrows, questions and fears to the Lord, even if you cannot say a word (Romans 8:26).

Take some time to lift up those around you who are grieving this Christmas. Take a moment to bless them with a word of encouragement, a small gift or a phone call just to let them know they’re not alone.

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About the Postures of Advent Series:

The postures we enter the Christmas season with can make all the difference in how we experience it. In the midst of a season known for happiness, joy and light, we invite you to bring all your heart postures—the joyful ones, the hurt ones, the anticipatory ones and the anxious ones to the manger.

Through our 5-week blog seriesPostures of Advent, we’ll invite you to step into what the reality of the coming of Jesus means in our messy and broken lives. We’ll walk through heart postures that inspire us to surrender to, refocus on, and embrace the grace of our King Jesus. There’s room for you, your doubts and your busyness on the journey. Let’s walk on.

Week 1: Eyes Fixed
Week 2: Head Up
Week 3: Knees Bent
Week 4: Hands Open
Week 5: Arms Wide

Written by: Laura Phillips

Laura Phillips is the Writer and Editorial Specialist for Compassion Canada. She is passionate about pursuing justice and mercy through writing, crafting, music, and sharing stories over a cup of strong coffee.