Christmas Devotions, Depression

The Light in the Dark Days of Depression

 

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“I am the light that has come into the world. No one who has faith in me will stay in the dark.” John 12:46

Everybody has dark days.  You know those times you don’t wish or can’t get out of bed. You’re afraid to face the world.  You are scared to face your anxiety, your depression, your anguish, your demons.  You don’t feel like it’s worth the effort.  You just want to throw in the towel.  You don’t want to see anyone nor do you want anybody to see you.  Holidays can make those days seem even blacker.   We all go through dark days or those seasons like this.

In this series of post leading up to Christmas I want us to look to the light of Christmas, Jesus Christ for our dark days.  I want us to look primarily at four types of dark days and how Christmas is the response to that through the life, death, and resurrection of the babe of Bethlehem.  Jesus is the way through the dark days of disappointment, distress, doubt, and depression.  You perhaps can relate to at least one of those during this holiday.

The Dark Days of Depression

I have written before about how depression robs us of our true identity.  What depression also does is makes it seem like everything in our life seems to cave in around us.  The holidays are a particularly lonely time.  When the world around you tells this is a season of joy,  but all you are feeling is hopelessness.  You may say to yourself, “what’s the use?”  You feel like giving up.

In World War II, Winston Churchill said when the war started in Europe, “The light has gone out in Europe.”

Depression has the effect of snuffing The Light out of our life.”  Misery is evident in Lamentations 3:19-20,

Just thinking of my troubles
and my lonely wandering
    makes me miserable.

20 That’s all I ever think about,
    and I am depressed.

Some of you faced a major crisis this year.  Maybe it was a divorce, a death of a loved one, a defeat, perhaps you got laid off, maybe you faced a significant illness, but it has snuffed out or at least dampened your Christmas spirit.  As you approach December 25th the fact is, you don’t feel like being happy. Other people’s talk of happiness only intensifies your pain and your loneliness.  Maybe you feel like Job in chapter 3 he said, “Erase that night from the calendar and conceal it with darkness.”

When the pain is that intense you wonder, “Does anybody care?” “Does anyone see the hurt?” If you find yourself asking those questions know this: God cares.  He cares about you because you matter to him.  Your issues of pain matter to God and He cares about it.

If you need some proof, in 2 Samuel 22:29, “You Lord, are my light; you dispel my darkness.” What Christmas reminds us is Jesus says, “I’m the light of the world.”  Jesus came at Christmas to bring light to our dark days.  Only Christ dispels the darkness.   Only Christ can be the Light of my life. Here is an illustration to remind us of the power of Jesus.

From the news, Julianne Holland, 13, an eighth grader in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, wanted to do her part for Jesus at Christmas. Without informing her parents, she addressed a letter to Jesus in care of the local post office. It landed on the desk of Presbyterian Donald L. Orner, 62, director of customer services at the postal center in Harrisburg.

“Dear friend,” wrote Julianne, “I am 13 years old. And you must think I’m weird for writing a letter to Jesus when everyone knows it wouldn’t get anywhere. But I wanted to give you a message.

“Every Christmas all people think about is getting presents. But that’s not the reason at all. I think Christmas means getting all your friends together and having a good time because Jesus is born, and that’s just the beginning of all the beautiful things he did for us. By being born he let love into the world.”

Replied Orner:

“We have no mail route to heaven, but I am sure that (Jesus) is aware of what you wrote. He knows our thoughts, our feelings, in every line of your beautiful letter flowed out across all the miles that no mailman could ever travel and touched his heart.

“You said your letter wouldn’t get anywhere—it touched my heart, and be assured, Julianne, he knows. May you have a happy Christmas, and God bless you.”

Somehow a reporter found out about the letters, and the Associated Press flashed the story around the world.[1]

 

[1] Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (pp. 656–657). Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc.

 

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8 thoughts on “The Light in the Dark Days of Depression”

  1. I raise up and walk to see the beauty of everyday, I walked with God’s graces. I am certain that in this life challenges are inevitable but Im not afraid because I have faith. I’ll be depressed, sad, angry or anything negative but I won’t fall into darkness and go weak for I have my strength and that’s Him. He will carry all my burden and take my worries away to that I am sure and to that I hold his trust that I’ll be the best I can be in this life He had given me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The Light in the Dark Days of Depression — The Light Breaks Through – An Undefined Life……

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