Longfellow's famous poem "I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day" contains a stanza we can hang our hats on, no matter how difficult things are in our lives:
"And in despair I bowed my head; 'There is no peace on earth,' I said; 'For hate is strong, And mocks the song Of peace on earth, good-will to men!'” I'm grateful to the The Gospel Coalition for leaving this morsel of truth. It altered my perspective and softened my pragmatic heart this past Christmas season. It made me see how small my difficulties are. Sometimes we read or listen to poetry blindly, without bothering to look into the circumstances of its conception. I urge you to select the link above, read Longfellow's story and his poem, and think about the impact that Luke 2:14 had imprinted in his consciousness. The truth is that there never has been peace on earth. The world has never been free of the bonds of hatred. But pure joy & peace comes from a source outside ourselves.
Longfellow shows us how to overcome our circumstances and find grace in the most unlikely space and time, and perhaps the most ironic situation imaginable.
Peace among those with whom He is well pleased!