How are you feeling this holiday season? I am not as merry as expected. No “ho-ho ho-ing” or “jingle bells rocking” over here. I’ve been more like the Grinch and less like Cindy Whoo. Not totally blue, but bluish.
The Christmas holiday is a season when most relish spending time with loved ones, but what if your loved ones are gone? What if you’re divorced now, or your kids are away and aren’t coming home for the holidays? What if your home lacks cheer, but is filled with tension? What if you’re in so much debt you feel like you can’t celebrate the way you want to? What if you’ve experienced trauma, and things don’t feel the same for you anymore? This holiday season you don’t have the most cheerful disposition and you can’t shake it off. You don’t want to feel sad but the sadness is real. Maybe you’re thinking about coping by drinking it away, sleeping it away, or sexing it away- like Cranes in the Sky.
I feel you 100%. Life ain’t been no crystal stair in 2017. It surely has had tacks in it, and splinters, and boards torn up. This year I’ve had a few ER visits, experienced the death of a loved one, had a painful surgery….. I could go on. You are not alone. I. FEEL. YOU!
There have been frustrating times. Last week alone I cracked my phone then later I dropped it in the toilet. In a rush to a meeting at work I dropped my Surface Pro and cracked the screen. My tire is leaking air and continues to go flat. Then there’s the bills. Then there’s my health…may have to have another surgery come the New Year. Christmas cheer? Nah.
I woke up on Sunday morning feeling so heavy ladened. The anxiety was palpable. I could feel my problems smothering me. I yelled out fearing suffocation from life’s issues.
You too may be facing some challenging circumstances that seem surreal. How do you cope? How can you be merry when your heart is broken? When you yourself feel broken?
Riding to work today I broke down in tears, but then the song Noel played on the radio. I imagined a precious child born. A holy child. The Holy One born to die. How sweet that day must have been! His birth would usher in salvation and peace. The angels heralded his coming:
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:11-14
Irrespective of His eminence and His holiness, the Son of God was born into the lowliest of circumstances. There was no room for Him in the inn. Before His birth Jesus knew what He would have to face, yet He came in spite of it all.
“Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:” Philippians 2:6-7
He came as a gift. He is the greatest gift. He came without complaint, but rejoiced in what His sacrifice would mean for humanity. He deserved honor and praise from all those graced to have lived during His lifetime, yet He was met with contempt and ridicule. Through it all, He persevered. Through it all, He lived. Thoughts of our Lord lifted my spirit.
Even if I have to take a moment every minute of every hour during the day to meditate on His birth, I will do so because it brings peace to my soul. The enemy wants you to dwell on your hardship, and not your blessings. If I don’t have anything else to praise Him for, I have one thing: I am saved! Do you know what that means? If you do, then rejoice with me! If you don’t, let me share with you the blessedness of salvation! It means you are kept by God. It means that despite the harsh reality of this life, there is another reality rewarded to you that is problem free, sorrow free, and bill free! It means that in this life you can experience joy in the midst of pain. It is ours for the taking, but we must keep our hearts stayed on Him. He is our promise.
You and I may be facing circumstances that are unpleasant, but remember Christ and His birth. Just the thought of a self-sacrificing Savior keeps self-loathing, complaining, and fear at bay. You may need to think about Him every minute, but do what you must, especially during this season. Chase the blues away by focusing on the blessing of His birth and what that means for you.
We are truly blessed to know Christ.
Note: Those who are facing depression, have thoughts of harming yourself, etc. please seek professional help. There is no shame in needing resources outside of praying. The shame would be to live your life in continued bondage and not seek the help God has provided through skilled mental health workers: licensed counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists. I love you. God loves you. Take care of you!