The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

That’s what the song says, and it is not entirely wrong.  But Christmastime and year-end festivities can often remind us of reasons we have to be sad. 

How does one cope?  Okay, you know some suggestions are coming.  Get ready!

Make contact with loved ones as you are able.  Take them some cookies (even store-bought) if they are close enough.  If not, make a phone call, send a letter or a card.  Touching base with family and friends can do much to help fill the sense of void.

Count your blessings.  Sure, we all have suffered loss or disappointment of one kind or another, but we have also been given much.  Do you have a job, a home, loved ones, health?  We tend to compare our situation to those “above” us who will always have more of whatever it is we think we want.  Perhaps if we looked to those less fortunate, we would see more clearly all the good we have laid at our doorstep, and be provoked to a fair amount of gratitude.  Assessing the good you have in your life is always more encouraging than dwelling on loss.

Talk to God about your sadness.  Jesus’ apostle Paul called the great I AM, the “God of all comfort” (2nd Corinthians 1:3).  There is no earthly explanation for the therapeutic benefit of pouring out your soul to your maker and redeemer.  It always works wonders for me, and I am confident that you will find honest, heart-felt prayer very beneficial as well.  He doesn’t keep holiday hours, but is open ‘round the clock every day.

Confide in a trusted friend.  Burdens are lighter when shared.  You know that.

Serve.  We were made to serve.  Serving gives us a sense of fulfillment that we cannot get in any other way.  Nothing else you can do will parallel Jesus’ example as much as sacrificial service.  Start by looking people in the eye and smiling.  Pay for someone’s lunch, or deliver groceries to someone in need.  Better yet, offer to take an elderly neighbor shopping.  If we look for ways to serve, I am confident God will help us find them.  After all, Jesus said that if people see our good works, they will glorify his Father in heaven.

As a child of God, you have much for which to be thankful, and happy.  Don’t wait for the world to become perfect.  Do what you can to improve it where you are, and you will make a huge dent in any sadness that’s troubling you.

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