For nothing is impossible with God. — Luke 1:37 The Innkeeper who gave Mary and Joseph a stable to stay in should be a model for us as we celebrate important seasons like Christmas without our loved one. That’s because the innkeeper had the ability to think and live beyond the “no.” “No room in the inn” could easily have been his complete conversation with the visiting strangers who came to his door. But he didn’t let perceived limitations stop him. Instead, he thought of other options. In contrast, many of us who grieve are quick to say “no way” to people and circumstances. Too often we limit God’s possibilities. When faced with a seemingly impossible circumstance, we convince ourselves there is no hope, no chance, no way! What is the circumstance on your “no way” list? My list is probably similar to yours. It’s long. It contains names of insensitive people who will never understand my loss and people who care but won’t stop giving advice and answers to why God allowed my loss. It includes people whom I think will never have a relationship with God, and others who are proud and will never see the need to change or learn humility. My list includes expectations that others have of me that I can’t fulfill and my inability to cope with my new identity since my loss. The names and circumstances on my list and yours share a common theme… a need for hope, a need for someone bigger than the circumstance, a need to think and live beyond the “no.” Christmas is God’s reminder that He has heard our cry and responded. Because of sin, humankind was eternally separated from God. No hope. No chance. No way! But God thought beyond the “no.” He provided a way for us to have a relationship with Him and eternal life through the birth and death of His Son, Jesus. Celebrating Jesus’ birth at Christmas and His death and resurrection at Easter remind us that the door of healing and salvation is open wide to all who will receive Him. Don’t allow your grief to limit God’s possibilities in your life or in other’s lives. Give Him your “no way” list today. Ask God to help you see beyond your circumstance and to change your “no way” thinking. It’s time to journey on and to live beyond the “no.” God, thank You for being Emmanuel, God with us. Thank You for Christmas and for Easter and for thinking beyond the “no.” Please forgive me for my “no way” thinking. Help me to trust You and to have Your perspective. Your Word says that with You nothing is impossible. Be my hope. Help me to see new possibilities and live beyond the “no.” Amen.