Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Antidote for Holiday Blues



Am I the only one that gets a little blue during the holidays? There are several reasons why I think this happens. I'll list a few, then hopefully I can leave you with a few words to encourage you (and myself, too).

I think the holidays can be discouraging because:
  • We miss the loved ones that have passed away and won't be able to celebrate the holidays with us
  • Other families around us have received horrible news right around the holiday (an old friend of mine lost her father two days ago, a family in my church has a precious little daughter that just began chemotherapy, another church member just lost a family member to possible suicide, and the list just goes on)
  • The world, with all its wars and controversies, hasn't taken a break for the holidays
To sum up each of these points, I think we get blue around the holidays because we're longing for our heavenly home. Every day here on earth falls short of perfect joy somehow. And that includes even the very best days like Thanksgiving, Christmas and birthdays (my birthday falls right between Thanksgiving and Christmas, by the way). I think we all, believers and unbelievers alike, carry in our hearts a desire for something else, something more than this life can possibly offer.

I believe that something more is Heaven.

2 Samuel, chapter 12, recounts the story of the death of King David's first son with Bathsheba. While the child was ill, David mourned and fasted day and night. Yet verse 20 states that when the baby died "David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate."

His servants were confused over his behavior. When the baby was alive, David mourned, but after his death, David ate and worshiped the Lord. To them, his behavior was backwards.

Check out David's response to them in verses 22 and 23. "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, 'Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.' But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me."

David's faith in God and the promise of heaven gave him hope that he would one day go to his son. He believed that he would see his sweet boy again. And we have that promise too. Not only will we live in a beautiful place void of war, pain and death. We will also live in a place where we'll spend eternity with our loved ones that have gone before us. I will see my two babies again. You will see many of your loved ones as well. And even if some of our family members and friends don't know Christ yet, there is still hope that they will believe. That they too will join us there.

That promise brings me a sense of joy and anticipation during this holiday. I hope it does for you too.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Believing in His Promise,

Carla

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