Soon Thanksgiving and Christmas will be upon us. The holidays can be a time of joy or a time of brooding. Some will succumb to the latter and come under a cloud of loneliness. In reflecting upon their circumstances, a person may say to themselves; “Why does the Lord our God do these things?” Jeremiah 5:19.
You may even share Jeremiah’s emotion of despair. “Woe to me, my mother, that you have borne me”. Or, “Why is my pain perpetual and my wound incurable which refuses to be healed? Will you surely be like an unreliable stream as waters that fail?”, as Jeremiah cries out to God.
Oh, my friend, I know some of you will be tempted to voice Jeremiah’s words as you reflect on the loss of, rejection of, or abandonment of a husband, a wife, children or parents during the coming holiday season. Or it may be for financial or geographical reasons that you cannot be with your family and loved ones. This can be the time when your brooding sprouts up and breeds further loneliness, self-pity and depression.
Beware that by feeding these negative emotions they will “give place to the devil”. (Eph.4:27) And when the devil has you in this place he will then take you further into the ‘Slough of Despond’ by the means of alcohol, drugs, or prescriptions to diabolically attempt to alleviate your loneliness and pain.
Now let me suggest a remedy for this diabolical plot against you. Understand first of all that the Lord cares for you. He knows that there will be times when you will be sad or lonely. We read in the Scripture that we should come to Him when we are feeling this way. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt.11:28) “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you.” (Psalm 55:12)
You can come to the Lord in prayer asking Him to relieve the cloud of loneliness and to comfort you. James 4:2 says; “You have not because you ask not.” You can pray for your heart’s desire for fellowship with your family. Nevertheless, concede to the fact that it may not happen and accept it. Once you accept your circumstances, you are no longer bound to a disappointing situation beyond your control to change. Your emotions are then set free to focus on more positive things.
I suggest you use the time to give the Lord thanks for His goodness. “Oh, that man would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness!” (Psalm 107:8) Maybe find a place to get away that you can lift up your loved ones to the Lord. Maybe there are grievances that you have against your loved ones that you need to ask God’s forgiveness for. You will be surprised how the Lord will minister to you when you do this.
Some of you have been so self-centered that you need to confess this to the Lord. Being self-centered in itself is a problem. It is all focused on what I want, isn’t it? Ask the Lord to show you where to give of yourself this Thanksgiving and Christmas season and not to be consumed with being a taker. Let love flow out of you even in the most disappointing event that you may experience.
What about praise?! Dig up some praise music and listen to it. It will lift up your heart and subdue the spirit of loneliness.
Think about getting out of the house. Go somewhere that will lift your spirit. Visit a friend that loves the Lord; one that can encourage you and pray for you. Maybe you need to seek out a church or return to church for fellowship with the body of Christ if you have been neglecting that.
Lastly, remember to celebrate the Savior during Thanksgiving and Christmas. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33) Remember that our fellowship is not only with one another, but “…truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ.” (I John 2:3) Make it a priority to give thanks to the Lord during Thanksgiving. And during Christmas, give praise to the new-born King of kings who has come to give you life. (I John 5:12) Set your eyes on Him and you will not be disappointed.
During the holidays do not mope in sadness; rather; hope in gladness.
Keep this article close at hand if holiday loneliness is a problem for you. I believe the Lord will use it to minister to you. Jesus Christ loves you.