Christmas lights. Christmas music. No school. Presents coming and going.
The stage is set for everyone to overflow with “Christmas cheer.” Everything is merry and bright. Everyone is happy. Except you. Or maybe, except someone you know.
Maybe you, or someone around you just isn’t feeling it this year. Maybe you (or they) have experienced a great loss this year. I lost my sister. Or maybe you (or they) are facing a scary future. One of my friends has some weird cancer - he has to have a bone marrow transplant and there are no guarantees. Maybe for absolutely no reason, things in your world just aren’t merry and bright. Maybe home is tense, relationships are messed up. Maybe you’re alone - or just feeling alone. Maybe reading this is getting you depressed…
Sometimes we’re sad. Let me say this - it’s OK to be sad. It’s normal and healthy to be sad for a while when we’ve lost someone, been hurt, are afraid or are just wore out by life. It’s OK to be sad. Even at Christmas.
King David felt sad, his world seemed dark and hopeless - and he wrote about it in the Psalms. In Psalm 42 he says things like:
“My tears have been my food day and night” “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?” “I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me?” “Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” “my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?”
David also knew where to go and what to do with his sadness. It’s OK to be sad - but we don’t have to be sad, and we shouldn’t just stay sad. Like David, we can go to God. In that same Psalm David says:
“My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” “Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” “My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you”
We need to learn how to take our hurt, our sadness to God. He gets it. He understands. Jesus felt great grief. Greater than we will ever know.
God promises us that He: “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Ps 147:3).
And that He : “is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” (Ps 34:18).
Take your hurt to Him. Ask Him to be your comfort, to heal your heart, to give you hope. Then listen to Him, accept what He says about our hurt, take His perspective on it - and let Him turn it into a blessing. That, after all, is what He promises: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Mt 5:4). He will grow us strong, wise and kind through the things that we suffer (Romans 5:3-5; 1 Peter 5:10). And though that might not seem worth it right now, though right now you might not want anything except for the darkness, the hurt, the sadness to go away - he promises us, that in the end, it will all be worth it (Romans 8:18).