Did you know the holidays can be terribly difficult for your friends who are mourning absent loved ones, or missing home, or who don't have families to celebrate with? Instead of griping about the relatives you are stuck spending Christmas with or the inconvenient drive or flight to get there, just be glad you have somewhere to go and people to greet you. I can just about guarantee you that some of your friends have nowhere to go.
For those who feel lonely right now, who find loneliness is harder to bear at Christmas than at any other time, the rest of this devotional is for you.
God understands loneliness. Jesus often spent time alone in the wilderness. David frequently felt isolated and alone. Job was abandoned and alone. The Bible is full of people who were cast out and dejected. This is something the Lord understands.
Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.
Psalm 142: 4
Look to the right and see:
there is none who takes notice of me;
no refuge remains to me;
no one cares for my soul.
Sometimes we want love that we can touch. The trick is to believe -- to KNOW -- you are loved when you are alone.
It usually helps to reach out to others during the holidays and not focus on yourself. Here are some suggestions:
1. Adopt a pet
2. Write a personal note, email, Facebook message to all your friends who lost a loved one this year and let them know they are not forgotten
3. Attend a Christmas service somewhere
4. Find others with no plans and make a plan together
5. Turn it over to the Lord and pray, pray, pray
6. Remember the Lord has stated numerous places throughout the Bible that HE will never leave you or forsake you
7. Don't forget that being with family and friends does not necessarily "cure" loneliness. The truth is -- it is often LESS lonely to be by oneself than to be with people who don't understand us or care about us.
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
1Kings 8:57, "May the LORD our God be with us as he was with our fathers; may He never leave us nor forsake us."
Joshua 1:5, No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. "As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you."
Hebrews 13:5 For God has said, “I will never leave you; I will never abandon you."
Lord, help us to let go of our grief and loneliness and to cast our care upon You because You care for us.
Taking the Road Less Traveled
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