"Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.'"1
Most of us suffer from fears, anxiety, stress, and various degrees of depression and the "blues" at various times of our life. It's when these feelings are affecting our daily functioning for extended periods, or when they are debilitating, that they become a problem for many.
However, during the Christmas and holiday season depression and the "blues" increases considerably for many. This can be caused by increased stresses, the loss of income, and especially because of the loss of a loved one, broken or impaired relationships, no meaningful relationships, being away at war and/or separated from family and loved ones, and just plain old-fashioned loneliness.
Unfortunately, I don't know of any simple answers for how to cope with the holiday blues when one is facing adverse circumstances. Simple, pat answers can be even more depressing. Certainly we need to trust God, but even Jesus needed personal friends and relationships—and so do we. We were created for relationships, not only with God, but also with each other. And we especially need loving, warm relationships at Christmas time—when it is meant to be "peace on earth good will toward men."
I don't want to sound simplistic as I have known times of loneliness when nothing seemed to take away the pain. But if you will be alone at Christmas time, for some it can help a little if you can reach out to help someone else who might be lonely, or call some people on the phone and wish them a happy Christmas. Or invite someone to your home for Christmas dinner, or contact your (or another local church) to see if they have a program for the lonely at Christmas that you could attend, or better still, that you could help with.
I would like to think that most churches put on a special family style dinner for the lonely at Christmas or have a program where members open their homes for the lonely during the holidays.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be sensitive to the needs of others—especially the lonely—during this holiday season, and reach out in a practical way to help bring comfort to someone in need. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Luke 2:13-14 (NIV).
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.