Merry Christmas! It’s a greeting that we hear and use over and over at this time of year. Just before Christmas, I went Christmas caroling at one of our board member’s annual event. We sang songs of joy, peace and proclamation and ended at each house with “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”. It was fun and exciting, especially when everyone excitedly burst into the farewell greeting before going to the next house. Christmas is indeed a time to celebrate and rejoice in the wonder of the Christ child. It is a time to reflect on that tender innocent babe born in such humble surroundings and exploring all the meaning as prophesy after prophesy was fulfilled.
However, we also know that for many, Christmas is not always a joyous occasion. For some, as families gather together, they will miss loved ones who passed on earlier this year and will be saddened not to have them with them. I have a dear friend who lost her young son to cancer earlier this year. My heart and prayers go out to her as this will be her first Christmas without him. Another friend lost her husband this year. And many friends have lost daughters, husbands, fathers, mothers, grandparents within the recent years and it’s still painful to try to celebrate a holiday without them.
In addition, many in our great country suffer from Depression, and perhaps not just from someone they love who was close to them passing away, but because of chemical imbalances or other factors. It’s something that they battle not just at the holidays, but all-year-round. Recently we found this article with good truths to remember, such as how Jesus understood depression. While in the garden, Luke 22:44 says, “Being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” God never promises that we won’t struggle. So we wanted to share this from FaithGateway.com — Depression: Fighting Dragons by Jim Burgen
I want to address the dragon that I most often see hunting the people around me: depression. This includes both the deep blues anyone can feel and the diagnosable imbalance that plagues so many. No one asks for this dragon, but he swallows up many people regardless. This dragon is big, heavy, overwhelming, and he has the potential to crush, suffocate, and swallow you up. This dragon doesn’t create bad days or bad weeks. He creates bad childhoods, bad decades, and bad lives. On and on, day after day, year after year, this dragon causes pain with no relief in sight.
Remember that overwhelmingly sad feeling when you learned that someone you loved died? Remember the guilt and embarrassment you felt after your biggest failure was exposed? Remember facing the biggest problem in your life and thinking that it was impossible to fix? Remember that time, as a little kid, when someone held you under the swimming pool too long, and you thought you were going to drown? Roll all of those emotions into one, carry them around with you every day from the time you wake up until the time you fall asleep, and you will begin to understand the dragon of depression.
To read more on this topic, click here. They also have a special on the book “No More Dragons” until December 31st. Check out their full article. And if you know someone struggling, be sure to reach out and share with them.
Blessings for a MERRY Christmas and a HAPPY New Year. Always lean on Christ for strength in our weakest of areas!