The cold seemed to close in around Janna as she walked along the bank of the river. The moon high in the sky glinted off the surface of the water, showing where bits of it had turned to ice. Everything seemed still, and the snow crunched deliciously beneath her feet; the only sound in the otherwise silent night.
Turning, she could see the lights of the house on the hill above her, glimmering in the otherwise dark world. Her breath caught at the beauty of it all. It was Christmas eve, and everything seemed picture perfect.
So why, then did she feel this way?
With a sigh she turned back to the river. One constant thing in the world that seemed to be forever changing.
Making her way to a cluster of rocks, she found her usual seat on the top, flat rock that overlooked the area. Thank goodness she had thought to wear her heavier jacket. She hadn’t realized just how cold it was.
Taking the notebook from her pocket, she slipped the cap off the sharpie pen she always kept on hand, and opened the book to the next blank page. But what was there to write? A frustrated sigh escaped her lips, and she laid the book down. Why did life have to suddenly become so complicated?
Sitting in the silence, she let her eyes drift close. She could feel the wind as it brushed her cheeks, and the tree branches above her creaking in protest. And below, the same sound she’d remembered hearing since she was a little girl.
The almost musical sound of the water tumbling across its charted course.
Christmas was going to be different this year. And she hated that. Maybe she shouldn't hold traditions so dearly, but she did. They were such little things to everyone else, but to her . . . they were tangible reminders of Christmases past.
Why did life have to change so?
She didn’t want to be an adult, and she hated the busy, non-stop pace it seemed to bring. It had invaded every part of life. But she had held out a hope that Christmas would be the same. That it would be what it always had been.
But it wasn’t. And she was wrong to have thought it would.
Like the water rushing below her, life was full of twists and turns she hadn’t expected.
A tear escaped her eye, and she didn’t bother to brush it away. It seemed as if, unconsciously, her family had managed to skip most of the traditions she held dear. It wasn’t that they didn’t want to do them, but rather, they were too busy.
This wasn’t right. It shouldn’t be this way. It should be all of them, together. Not just whoever was home. After all, Christmas was about family and coming together to celebrate. Not everyone rushing around to try and finish up their sports activities of business before the holiday.
She opened her eyes, and to her surprise, the sky above her was littered with specks of white that glittered against the darkness of the horizon. It was so peaceful, so serene. A stark contrast to the turmoil she felt within. Why was it so hard for her to accept change?
Her mind wandered back to the first Christmas. And suddenly, she realized something. The night that so many referred to as the ‘Silent Night’ really would have been anything but silent. Bethlehem was crowded. To the point that there was no room in any inn for the expectant mother. And she could testify from experience that the stable was not the most quiet place, either. Jesus didn’t come to a world of peace and special family traditions. No, He was born into a world of chaos. A world very much like the one she lived in.
And He as the reason for Christmas. Not family or traditions. And while everything else changed, He stayed the same.
As she sat there, feeling the icy kiss of the snowflakes tingle on her cheeks, she realized something.
Bending over the page in front of her, she scribbled out a few sentences. The black ink stood out in stark contrast to the soft white of the page.
The only One who can truly satisfy the human heart is the One who made it.
As long as she kept her eyes on the Baby in the manger and not on all the distractions the world provided, everything would be okay. He was the one thing that remained steadfast, unchanging, when every other thing around was unknown.