When Joy is hard to find by Tina Y. Gerber
Christmas is a time of good cheer, relaxation and celebration, yet many not knowing how to deal with pressures or challenges we are feeling from the effects of this pandemic may find Christmas can be undermined by depression, often brought on from loneliness, such as through break-ups, financial struggles, family conflict, mental health issues or bereavement. These individuals can carry grief over the festive holidays and have a particularly hard road to travel. Christmas happens in the winter when days are shorter and the weather is generally poor with cold dark nights and frosty mornings. Why would anyone want to get out of a warm comfy bed? It is sometimes easy to get caught up in all the commercial aspects of the holiday season: holidays are tough on many. A time of year when the to do lists can become unbearably unrealistic! We have a calendar filled with social obligations, and our normal routines that keep us happy and healthy often get pushed aside. Not to get anybody depressed here but the pictures on television and Facebook exhibit cozy homes, cheerfully decorated, in which happy families gather together and share a meal cooked to perfection. We should understand, in life things are not perfect or as beautiful as shown on T.V. or in the movies. It can be easy for the holiday season to feel ‘not so merry and bright’, because life is unpredictable. For many who struggle, this season can bring back painful memories, feeling locked in those cycles some will wear a brave face waiting for the New Year to arrive, hoping to put 2020 behind them! You just never know what’s going on in someone’s life. But as a good practice, we should be grateful for what we do have. When a person starts thanking God and appreciates the things they do have, showing gratitude, our perspective changes. The Bible tells us Jesus is God in human form. First, we must remember, Jesus existed prior to when He came, called His incarnation, In the Bible, in John 1:1, it says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” just as our words are an outflow of us. For Christians, Christmas, the annual festival celebrating Christ’s birth, it’s time to give thanks for the saviour, aka the Messiah. During this holiday season, it’s easy to be stressed and lose focus of what Christmas is really about: Jesus, and that in becoming a human being, dying on the cross for our sins and then rising from the dead, Jesus Christ overcame for us sin and the grave. It’s important we find inner peace and this can only be found through Jesus Christ. There is no better time to renew joy, peace and your relationship with Christ than now.