As winter approaches and the clock changes, the starkness of the barren trees is a little depressing. The news broadcaster tells of how depression at this time of the year is not uncommon. Why wouldn’t it be, with the horrific stories of bad news we are bombarded with?
My friend, Dr. Bengston wrote a book about having hope in the midst of depression just this past year.
We long for good news. Instead, we hear of a friend losing their adult son, another friend’s son fighting a battle with cancer, another friend ending up in the hospital with a fall, myself ending up in the hospital with acute pancreatitis.
“Good news from far away is like cold water to the thirsty.” Proverbs 25:25 (NLT)
As I observe my friends going through unimaginable hardship this year, I do see good news.
It is good news that they have not lost hope.
It is good news that they see God’s presence, a light in the darkness, offering His strength.
It is good news that they turn to the Word of God as an anchor for the hard days.
It is good news that the baby born in a manger brings hope and love and eternal life for all who believe in Him.
A few years ago, my friend was visiting from Florida during the winter. “Why are all the trees dead?”, she asked. “They’re not dead, they are dormant. They always loose their leaves in the fall, but spring will bring new life”, I answered, realizing that this was something she had not seen. Then it began to snow and I watched as she stood in my yard feeling the snow on her face and watching in amazement as the scenery before her turned into a white wonderland.
“You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest.” Psalm 139:3, NIT
I have to admit, it can be terrifying to release our plans to God and trust Him-especially with those things that are the closest to our heart.
If you are suffering this Christmas season, know how much God loves you. His love is unfailing (Pslam 138:2). He wants to strengthen you to walk through this unexpected season (Psalm 138:3). He wants you to hang onto the hope promised in His Word (Hebrews 6:19). He wants you to know that He shines bright even when the darkness of this world covers that from your view (Psalm 139:12).