Yesterday I noticed the local police where I live had posted about how many mental health calls they had been on last week with 8 of those being suicide prevention. During the holiday season of Thanksgiving and Christmas times of joy, family, friendships, social functions, there is a stark contrast for some people.
The holidays seem to amplify the feelings of depression and loneliness. Hearing Christmas music everywhere with songs like I’ll Be Home For Christmas, or Joy to the World can be like rubbing salt in a wound for people who are struggling.
The answer is not to eliminate or disdain the celebrations. The answer is to focus on the comfort the person being celebrated gives and that he came. Christmas is about Jesus leaving his throne in heaven to be born a baby to be our Savior. Jesus invites us to come to him in Matthew 11:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
His invitation is for all and the reason he gives is that he has all power yet he is gentle and humble of heart. He understands us and wants to comfort, restore, heal, and befriend us.
We can be the hands of Jesus on earth by praying for the Lord to lead us to those he wants us to befriend, reach out to, and pray for.
Sharon has a blog beatdepression. She shares about how God helped her and can help anyone who struggles with depression and anxiety. She wrote a post about depression and loneliness you can check out by clicking on depression and loneliness.
I will never forget being invited to join a family for Christmas Eve dinner after church when I had first started going to my church. I had just come back to Lincoln and recovered from a serious bout of autoimmune the year before. I didn’t really know many people at church yet. One family invited me to join them. The dinner wasn’t anything fancy. Their tradition was to have chili after Christmas Eve service. I didn’t care what we ate. The blessing of being invited and included at a down time in my life was a huge blessing.
I share that in hopes that it may spark the desire to reach out to others during this holiday season and be the hands of Jesus on earth.
Thank you for reading. God Bless.