It was Christmas Day … the aftermath.

Family had come and gone, filling our tummies with food, our hearts with joy and our trash bins with wrapping paper. Now reality was setting in.

We learned the “Give as a Gift” option on Amazon.com required the recipient to pay for his present. We discovered the new coffee pot didn’t work. And by the time evening had set in, my precious wife was running a low-grade fever.

As the late, great Lewis Grizzard put it, “Elvis is dead and I don’t feel so good myself.”trash

Life continues. All the Facebook posts, Twitter lines and Instagram photos show the “happy” in our holidays and the “merry” in our Christmas, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But as Jesus foretold us, “In this world you will have trouble.” (John 16:33)

Note the verb: Will.

At one point on Christmas Day, a daughter-in-law asked if I had a favorite Bible verse. I’ve always struggled with that question, and I did so again when she asked. There are so many amazing options, and God meets me with them right at the crux of my needs. But it’s hard to beat John 16:33 … not because of the promise that we will have trouble, but because of the full promise that He provides in the midst of life’s chaos.

Here’s the complete text for that verse: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

That’s why Jesus was born: To offer us peace. To overcome the world.

That’s why we celebrate Christmas. And that’s why, regardless of our  “light and momentary troubles,”  we can look forward to the New Year.