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A Christmas Mystery. A List. Peace.

Some things are difficult to understand. Even the Christmas story, with its message of hope, contains an aspect of mystery.

Do you remember King Herod’s jealousy when he heard a king of the Jews (Jesus) had been born? Herod’s insecurity and cruelty led to the death of many innocent children.

Why would God allow this? The murder of baby boys due to Jesus’s birth--to Christmas?

Four days ago, I made a list. Not a wish list for Christmas, but a list of things learned in the past ten years. All things I do not have to do. You see, ten years ago, on December 20, my younger son died. For years, I thought, “I just don’t understand!” One of the things on my list was, "I don’t have to understand."

I didn’t understand how my son’s death happened. And I certainly did not understand why. My 20-year-old son’s suicide death was beyond my comprehension.

One day my struggle to understand ended with this thought: “I don’t have to.”

I know God understands. And I am willing to set aside my desire to understand for now, to trust the all-wise God.

A few months ago, I considered the mothers who lost their little boys to King Herod’s cruelty. I, too, lost my son. I could imagine their nightmare. Perhaps the following communicates the devastating grief the mothers may have lived with the rest of their days.

Nights are a terror living it all again. My baby boy ripped from my arms. Cruelty, horror, desecration lifeless body left in the dust.

I can’t think-- my mind remembers his chubby legs toddling about. I can’t function-- my hands long to feel his soft cheeks on mine. I can’t love-- my heart cannot not bear another loss.

Oh, God, why? Why?

(Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.” Matthew 2:16-18)

There are things in life and in this world we don’t understand. As Amy Carmichael wrote, “In acceptance lieth peace.” We don’t have to understand.

Because God does.


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