Monday, December 21, 2009

Harnessing Holiday Lonliness

Christmas is a time of year that many people feel lonely, sad, depressed and stressed. This may be you, or someone you love. There are several reasons why this may happen such as the loss of a loved one, financial troubles that won't allow for the purchasing of gifts or holiday treats for family, job layoffs or heavier than normal work loads, loss of homes and separated families. All of these events may cause numerous feelings of sorrow, anger, depression and overall loss and grief.

Experiencing such feelings as these can influence our beliefs, ideas, goals and dreams. While focusing on ourselves it is easy to be overcome and totally carried away, overwhelmed and sucked into life's traps. But this is not the answer to life's issues nor is it the way of escape.

God offers a much more reliable, steady and secure resolution to life's troubles.
As long as we are consumed with our own lives, we will not be as concerned with those around us as we should. We re told in II Timothy 4:17, "But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it." Our purpose on earth is not to care for ourselves alone, but to attend to the affairs of others, thinking of others as more important than ourselves. Our purpose should be to share the love of Jesus with those in our circle of life.

Through our own pain, brokenness, grief and sorrow we can reach out to others who are also experiencing the same depressive emotions we are, yet we can offer them hope. Hope in Jesus, since all things are possible through Him, Philippians 4:13 there is hope beyond the pain. The love of Jesus which brings peace like a river is ours for the taking and once we look outward, rather than inward, life as we know it will begin to change and we will be able to count it all joy when we go through tribulation because the testing of our faith produces perseverance which in turn strengthens us for future affliction.

So basically we have two choices. We can remain in our present calamity and wish to survive the hopelessness or we can rise above our current situations and shift our concerns to those around us. Being eternally minded does have its advantages so the choice is ours.

The holiday season can motivate us to isolate ourselves and pretend no one else exists. Or it can cause us to face our fears, purge our pain and distinguish our depression so that we may be a blessing to others. Through Jesus Christ and with His strength, we can do all things. We can harness this holiday loneliness and create a more encouraging, less stressful life of purpose. Loneliness need not have its way in our lives anymore.

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