Thursday, December 22, 2011

When You Feel Far from Home

Here is a taste from my home that touched my heart.

Do you feel far from home this holiday season?  For many cross-cultural servants, Christmas can be a bittersweet time. You may feel twinges of loneliness as you long for friends and family from home, wherever that is.  Many of us are not even sure anymore where home is!  You might feel special joy over celebrating together with the “family” God has given you where you are.

For me, Christmas overseas is a mixed blessing.  I miss the joyful holiday atmosphere in America. On the other hand, I am thankful for the opportunity to focus on the spiritual meaning of Christmas, far away from commercialism and shopping frenzy. I’ve had many sweet, quiet Christmases in this country where almost no one else is celebrating.  I long to be with our family back home, and I wish my children could spend Christmas with them. However, I’m honored that my kids get to spend Christmas among brothers and sister who pay a high cost to follow Christ.  It is a privilege to be part of their community.

How are you holding up?

If you feel lonely, I pray that fellowship with Christ would be sweet to your soul.

If you feel weary, I pray that His strength would be made perfect in your weakness.

If you feel far away from home and loved ones, I pray that you could make yourself at home in Christ’s love.  He is always there for you, always waiting for your arrival, always ready to sit down and be with you.  May Christ make himself at home in your heart. He is sufficient for all of your needs.

If you feel joyful, I pray that Christ would make your joy abound still more.

“I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.” Ephesians 3:16, 17

Blessings to you at the end of 2011,


Linda said...

Oh, Olive Tree, you've written a wise, grace-filled, faith-filled, love-filled message. Your prayer for others is so God-focused, so right-on!

I know you and your family are paying a high cost for following hard after where God has sent you to minister, and I pray He will give you many joys and blessings that He has for you there, only there--types of blessings others miss for lack of living on the cutting edge with God.

Bless you for celebrating with the “family” God has given you there.

You're in my daily prayers.


Jamie Jo said...

What lovely encouraging words to my weary soul today. I'm sick in bed, and my perspective is a bit negative this Christmas in particular with our smallest family ever this year.

I just saw that flash mob video on FB and sobbed through it. Just precious.

Yes, it's a mixed blessing to celebrate so far from loved ones.

OliveTree said...

Linda, thanks for your prayer. You have no idea how much it means.

I hope you're feeling better soon, Jamie Jo. I can imagine how you must feel about your "smaller nest." I'm praying for you right now, sister.

I teared up over the flash mob video myself.

Shanda said...

I'm praying peace and joy over your Christmas. I know the feelings of being away from home. I am in the US this year but still lacking one son so it is bitter sweet.
May the spirit of Christ fill every void in your heart today.
Merry Christmas

Kris Thede said...

Thanks for the prayer for the mixed blessing that causes mixed up feelings. May you end the year strong. May the Lord continue to use you and bless you and your family in 2012. Fauche

OliveTree said...

Thank you, thank you Shanda and Kris!