I know, I know! An article about Christmas Depression on a Monday, what could be worse? But I promise you that by the end there will be hope, and you may feel a little emotional lift.
Ten years ago we lost my mother to breast cancer. So, many things have been hard with her passing and much of those were the joyous times which we could no longer share together. My children’s book, The Tent Maker, was published and her first great grandchild was born, yet the joy seemed a little deflated. Christmas can be the hardest for me because her birthday was December 24. Yes, Christmas Eve.
I can feel the cloud of sorrow and longing start to creep up on me around the second week in December. Fighting to keep the internal rising of feeling sorry for myself, because I know I am way too blessed to act unappreciative, is a struggle. And the children, grandchildren, along with other family members do not deserve this personal pity party that I want to throw for myself. Who do I think I am anyway? Wallowing in grief is something satan would want from me, not God.
But where do you turn? How do you get out of the much and mire of self disappointment? My solution is one, that I am sure you have been told to do time and time again. I read and I pray. You can’t do it for one or two days and be cured; you have to make it a part of your everyday fiber! (Sorry, but when you are close to fifty, fiber is very important!)
The bible and God are like homeopathic medications. They work over periods of time in our life. God is not the synthetic, man-made, solve all pill, like our pharmaceuticals of today. God is the Only One, the Alpha and the Omega, all natural, all original; I want to be in your life every day through out eternity, medication. He wants to walk, talk, and shoulder everything in our lives with us. The catch is that you have to let Him.
Now, all of this free advice is coming from a bona fide control freak. Yes, I admit it. Letting go is not something I can do easily. I need help! So, I have a morning devotional called Jesus Calling by Sara Young. You do not have to get up an extra hour earlier either, fifteen minutes at the most.
I have a prayer list, on a piece of notebook paper, in my bible for my morning prayers. Forgetting to lift someone or a situation up and having to have an addend on my prayers, like “by the way God” throws me off schedule. Control freak again. The list can change from week to week and usually does.
At night I am reading You Want Me To Do What? by Michael Youseef, PhD. I find that this calms my jumpy mind and then night time prayers. My night time prayers are more about being thankful and asking forgiveness for my daily trip ups. Nothing elaborate or full of rhetoric, just plain “I need to talk” time.
Now, I know about time constraints and have heard all of the excuses about not liking to read, or knowing how to pray. So let’s break down the excuses and get you moving forward. Time is what you make of it! If you want a day with peace and joy along with the greatest warrior to fight your battles, then you can find fifteen to thirty minutes a day for God. I am sure you find time to gab on the phone, update your face book page, and surf the web every day. Usually those are mindless and time waste activities, another way to dull you into being a part of this world. By the way, you are not of this world. And reading should never be an issue for anyone because there are audio books. No money involved either because you don’t have to spend a dime with the internet available; there are plenty of free bibles on line.
Two down and one to go!
Prayer can be such a stumbling block, because we are made to believe there is a certain formula for getting it right. Wrong, God asks that we only talk to Him. So, go to your favorite comfy chair. Put a chair in front of your chair and have a seat. Close your eyes and stretch out your hands. Now imagine, God is in the chair across from you and He takes your small hands into His large, warm loving hands. He gently strokes them while listening to your day. God nods in understanding and squeezes the purest love back into your palms. If you need to, lay your head upon His lap and give it all to Him. Hand Him the good, the very bad, and the very ugly parts of your soul. He will give you back forgiveness, peace, and the ultimate love!
Now, we have removed the basic stumbling blocks and it is your turn to get moving! Don’t wait another day! Let this holiday season be your chance for a better life! Remember nothing will happen over night and sometimes life just stinks, but with God we can endure and come out better than before. What are you waiting for?
Below is different scripture, which may help you. Sometimes, I will tape scripture to my mirror to say every day. It is my spiritual pep talk with myself.
“Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)
“Yahweh is close to all who call on Him—to all who call on Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him: He will hear their cry and save them.” (Psalm 145:18-19)
“Yahweh is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble: He knows those who take refuge in Him.” (Nahum 1:7)
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and weighed down with heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in spirit. Indeed, you will surely find rest in Me! My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Hanging in There During Tough Times
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God (Yahweh), the Creator of the ends of the earth, faints not, neither is weary; His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint; and to him who has no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall; but those who wait for Yahweh shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31)
“Those who sow in tears will reap a harvest of joy; for though they may weep while going forth to plant their seed, if they persevere, they will undoubtedly return rejoicing—bringing their sheaves with them.” (Psalms 126:5-6)
“I have told you these things so that you would find comfort in Me. In this world, you will suffer; but be courageous, for I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33)
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him, to enable them to fulfill the purpose for which they are called.” (Romans 8:28)
Sickness and Healing
Psalm 41:3 “The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.”
Psalm 147:3 “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
Isaiah 53:5 “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
Isaiah 58:8 “Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.”
Jeremiah 17:14 “Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.”
Death and Loss
Revelation 21:4 “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Revelation 7:15-17 “And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Isaiah 57:2 “Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.”
Isaiah 25:8 “He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken.”
My Prayer for You…Heavenly Father:
I pray for those who read this blog and are in great need of You. I lift up their sorrows, their sicknesses, and their burdens that You may heal and renew them. I pray for You to instill Your hope deep within their souls and Your love deep within their hearts. Let them know with You all is taken care of and show them how to commit the rest of their life’s journey to You and Your Glory!
I pray for this to be a holiday of new beginnings for all! I pray for peace, love, and joy!
In Jesus Name I Pray. Amen.