Christmas Blues

Christmas – just mentioning the word can cause intense images to fill our imaginations. It’s a season laden with memories. For some the mental pictures are rich and sweet. For some, Christmas is a painful time of remembering, and the memories hurt.


There may be those in our midst who are mourning the loss of a loved one taken by death, or divorce. People around us may be experiencing the loss of love or attention from a friend or family member. Individuals may be lonely, suffering from rejection, feeling the heartache of a child going astray, or reeling from the revelation of bad news about their health, finances or marriage. Christmas can fan the flame of a memory one would rather forget.


How can we offer the hope and healing of Christ during this season that for some heightens painful emotions? Here are three things to consider:


1. Help resolve the immediate pain. Perhaps there is some practical help we can offer to someone around us experiencing the holiday hurts. Whether it’s an extra visit or offering assistance in an area of physical need, or being a sensitive listener, timely attention can help take the sharp edge off the loss.


2. Encourage growth. A natural response to pain is to withdraw. We can encourage a friend to stay strong in church by offering a personal invitation. This kind gesture helps him or her to stay connected to other people and to the Lord.


3. Help increase the coping mechanisms. The thought of normal traditions may be painful. It’s okay to start a new tradition or do something new and creative during the holidays. Offering our friends a fresh perspective or a shoulder to cry on helps him or her process the heightened emotions. ’We can help our friends discover the ways that God shows His goodness by helping us each step of the way on our journey of hope and healing.


Most of all we need to remember that God is the God of hope. His Word is the book of hope. Through the pages of the Bible we find help for our deepest needs, especially when we’re hurting. Jim Cymbala, in his book, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, says “ I discovered an astonishing truth: God is attracted to weakness. He can’t resist those who humbly and honestly admit how desperately they need him”.


“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

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