Daily Devotional for Monday December 15, 2003
The other side of the holidays
( Joshua 1:5 )
The other side of the holidays. While we usually think of this time of year as a time of being with family and friends, a time of great joy, the fact is for many it is one of the worst times of the year. Many people dread the holiday season because for many reasons they are alone, and feel left out of the festivities associated with the Christmas season. It is the time of year when suicides are at their highest. Being alone takes on a new significance during the holidays. This devotional today is dedicated to all of you reading these words who feel this way today. You don't have the joy, you don't have the Christmas spirit, because you are alone.
I want to encourage you today. First of all, I want to remind you as God told Joshua, as the Lord told his disciples.."I will never leave you nor forsake you." The fact is, God is always with us. While that fact is comforting, it still does not alleviate the loneliness many feel from a lack of human companionship. In the Book of Hebrews, God commanded that we "not forsake the fellowship of one another." That means being part of a local church. You see, one of the important facets of being part of a local church, is that it is a source of fellowship. It is where we can find people of like faith, who become part of our life. While many of you understand that God is always with you, and you have fellowship with other believers, you are still dealing with being alone.
The real loneliness that is so strong during this time of year, is the loneliness that comes from not having a spouse, or not having a close intimate relationship with your family. One of life's mysteries to me after many years in the ministry is why God allows some to remain single. I wish I had an answer, but I don't. The best I can do is to encourage you to treat it like any other battle. Get a plan, pray, and ask God for wisdom. Have someone who will pray with you and walk through this with you, and then rely on the strength God can give you each day. Don't be frustrated if you don't see results right away. His timing is always perfect, His grace sufficient for the day. God knows your desire, and understands your need. As for your family, like I shared last week, do all that you can to reconcile with any family members you are estranged from during this Christmas season.
I love you so much. I care about you. I know the pain and hurt so many are going thru during this wonderful season when others appear to be so full of joy. Please know that you will be in my prayers. I wish I had a magical answer but I don't. However, there is One who does have the answer. It is during these times in our life, these times when we hurt and things don't make sense, that we need to press in even deeper to our daily walk with Christ. You see, that is what will sustain you through those lonely, difficult times.
The promises in His Word are true. We need to find our peace, comfort, and joy in Him. In our service to Him. My best advice for those who are lonely, is to know that you are not alone. Find ways to serve others during this Christmas season. It is in your service that you find the true meaning, not only of Christmas, but in what being as Christian is all about. It is also in service that we realize we really are never alone as long as we have Jesus.
As difficult as this Christmas season may be for you because you are alone, let me remind you that I am always here for you. You have the promise of God's Word that He will never leave you nor forsake you. Here is some advice for those who are alone this Christmas season. Let the Lord use YOU to bring His hope, His love, to someone else who may be alone this Christmas season.
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller