Friday, November 25, 2011

Do the Holidays Make You Depressed?

by Aleta Kay

          The holidays are hard for a lot of people. They’ve recently lost a loved one or they are alone with little, if any, human contact. Some are in the hospital or have debilitating illnesses and they just want to give up.
          There is a widow in our church who really amazes me. Her husband died in March after over fifty years of marriage. She is still grieving and I know the nights alone are probably the worst times for her. Yet she continues to come to church. She volunteers at a food bank. She opens her home to those who have no place to go. She continually reaches out to others.
          This dear lady doesn’t brag about what she does. She doesn’t even mention it unless it comes up in conversation. She smiles a lot, even though the smile doesn’t always reach her eyes. She makes me want to reach out more, do more. She is an inspiration and doesn’t even know it.
          We all have times in our lives when circumstances beyond our control come in and attempt to overwhelm us. We are not immune to sadness, discouragement, and depression. God knew that. That’s why Jesus said, “Come unto me all you that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28, 29.
          The book of Isaiah (chapter 9) tells us that Jesus was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He knows how you feel. He feels your pain. He wants to take your pain and give you His comfort and peace. He doesn’t promise you’ll never feel lonely, depressed or sad again. He does promise He will be with you and help you through. He promises that, if you let Him, He will ease it over time and make it easier to bear. He will teach you to smile in spite of your circumstances. He loves you.

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