Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | December 23, 2019

Beating The Holiday Blues

“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Romans 12:13 (ESV)

Let’s be completely honest here. For all the “merry” proclamations we give and receive this Christmas, merriment can be far from a reality. In fact, for many of us, depression and despair mark our world this season more profoundly than joy. Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, an unexpected medical report, or an emptier nest than you anticipated, grief and sorrow can fade the festive colors to a dull gray.

Sisters, the truth is, depression is fed by focus. When we stare at and consider the darkness, it grows deeper and blacker. Like water to a garden, washing our fear, sadness, and grief with attention makes them bloom—so they cast a shadow over anything else that may be trying to push through the soul’s soil.

So, what do we do to win the battle of the blues (and grays and blacks)? Stop. Feeding. It.

Firstly, as the old hymn proclaims, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus.” Throughout the Bible (from Job and Nehemiah through Paul’s exhortations), we are encouraged to focus on God and take our attention off what ails us. Nothing makes our seemingly huge troubles shrink more than comparing them with our immense and awesome God.

Secondly, get involved in the life of others. Serve. Help. The Christmas season provides such richness of opportunity right in our own communities. We can start close to home and make a meal for a neighbor, or perhaps join a local outreach organization for an activity or two…maybe even volunteer at an animal shelter. And, certainly, your church home will have countless opportunities. Giving to others—of our time, talents, or resources—takes us out of ourselves and focuses our mind, heart, and spirit away from the dark chasm within.

C. H. Spurgeon, in talking to his congregation about his own ongoing battle with depression, eloquently described this very anecdote: He said that he needed to “stop gazing into the black hole of his own soul.”

Are you entrenched in the darkness this Christmas? Sister, you’re not alone. You have a gracious Savior who loves you. Look up. Reach out. And step out of the darkness. As you serve, joy will break through the clouds, and you’ll feel the smiling face of God.

“Lord, help me focus on You, despite my circumstances, and lift me from the mire of sadness as I reach out to show Your love to others this Christmas season.”

[If you, or someone you love, suffers from depression, reach out to your church pastor or a Christian counselor for help.]

For His Glory

Julianne Winkler Smith
TRBC Women’s Life

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