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8 December 2020
The God of new beginnings and second chances
Words Sue Davies
It has certainly been a tough year! Restrictions have created ‘distance’ between people. Lockdowns have kept families and friends apart for months at a time.
Recently, I was reminded of the words of a song written more than 50 years ago – “It’s the most wonderful time of the year … It’s the hap-happiest season of all.” The lyrics tell of the celebrations and activities of families and friends during the Christmas season.
It’s a ‘feel-good’ song that describes the experiences of many people at this time of year. Sadly, though, Christmas can be one of the most difficult periods for people who find themselves alone – with the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic intensifying these experiences. Estrangements within families occur, addictions contribute to people isolating and there may be the challenges of a first Christmas without a special loved one.
Reality also hits when people realise that their relationships are not as good as they seem to be on the television or in the movies. The emphasis on family, friends and shared good times during the festive season can often contribute to depression and feelings of being unloved – of not belonging.
So, often it can be hard not to feel lonely at this time.
We all feel lonely at some point. The truth is that most of us experience some level of disappointment, or lack, in our most intimate relationships.
People make mistakes, let us down, have character flaws, become busy and distracted and we simply don’t feel very special.
Even people who seem to have amazing social skills and are the ‘life of the party’ are often troubled by feelings of insecurity and uncertainty. These are feelings they keep hidden in a lonely place of the soul – the inner world. Everyone has fears and secrets that often only very few people are aware of, and even fewer understand fully and provide comfort for.
At the end of the day, we all need support to cope during these times.
My solution is to seek out the presence of God and the reassurances of his love and purposes for my life. The Christian faith is not primarily a set of rules to obey or moral attitudes to adopt – it is a relationship. This reality is the most important element of faith!
Prayer and our constant walking with Jesus can be the answer to the problems we may have with loneliness. Jesus knew the human emotion of loneliness. He hears the cry of our heart. The faintest whisper of one who feels alone comes before the heart of a loving God who will go to any lengths to comfort his children. He will send people who step up and speak love into our lives. He reminds us of powerful words of songs that touch our dark places.
Through the Bible, God speaks to our hearts – it’s his love letter to us!
In Joshua chapter 1 verse 9 we read, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Take firm hold of this promise at this Christmas time – we are not alone.