I don't want to moan but these last few weeks have reminded me of something that happened most Winters through my ministry. After meeting all the extra Christmas commitments - preaching and all that was involved moving into a New Year - I frequently succumbed to 'flu. Apparently it didn't happen in my first year of ministry as I look back in Gleanings, but it occurred regularly in succeeding years.
And why am I reminded now? Because I am currently in my tenth week of fluey stuff and Carol is in her third week! My doctor calls mine a 'double-dip'. After a virus at the end of October I became reinfected requiring antibiotics. These appeared to work giving me back some bounce as Carol went down with virulent-keep-you-in-bed-eight-days flu. Then I caught her flu which hit me with a vengeance (in spite of having the flu injection). 'Oh,' said my doctor, 'I have never seen so much of this double-dipping as this year when patients have a virus, are well for a few days and then go down with something else.' It's oddly encouraging to know that you are not alone. Hopefully, you, my patient readers will have been spared this experience.
It is precisely in such end of year blues that the sparkle and joy of the Incarnation must shine. We are not told how easily Jesus' birth went, nor the continuing state of Mary and Joseph's health. Being in flesh never allowed them to escape times of blues, nor could their baby escape. And because the Light of the World comes in flesh into the darkest places we should always remember his loving presence is with us right now. Immanuel.
I hope 2019 will be a fulfilling year full of God's loving presence all the way. He makes all the difference.