With the holiday season can come lonely times for single-again adults. It does not matter if you are widowed or divorced, the loneliness is the same. It can create an emotional roller coaster for the one who is facing another evening alone. Others are rushing around shopping for new clothes, purchasing last-minute gifts, and preparing to try to fit into an already-packed schedule more parties and events. You are there telling them how nice they look and what great choices in a gift they made. Our hearts can get down rather quickly. These moments hurt and often hurt for a long time.
But the loneliness is just the surface result of something much deeper. When we are unable to find joy in life, it is most often because we are not finding joy in Christ, the things of the Lord, and enjoying all that He has done for us. As quaint as it may sound, He truly is “the reason for the season!”
There is beauty in every stage of our lives when we are able to recognize God in our circumstances. He is in control, so being able to trust Him in the lonely times as well as in those times when we are a part of all the activity is vital. If He was only a God who is there when everything is perfect, then we would not need Him in the other times, and we would limit Him from doing what is most needed in our lives.
As a single-again adult, I have sat by the widow on special occasion nights and watched as my neighbors left their homes dressed in their party finery for another fun evening. I know the sense of loneliness that can overwhelm one who is feeling that penetrating loneliness that nothing can fill except the attention of another person. But there is no other person there to share the evening. That is a pain that is deep and feels as if it will never go away.
However, holding to the truths of God’s Word, we can be above the deepest internal pain of our lives. We can see beyond it and trust in God who is the very lover of our souls: “…for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU…” (Hebrews 13:5 NASB). God has promised that He will give us His power to know His love: “…to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19 NASB).
When in those unannounced, painful lonely times we seek to learn His lessons, He is there with just the touch that we so desperately need. He does not make light of our emotions; He created them. By, “…taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…” (II Corinthians 10:5) we will find that the Lord is our source of comfort and peace, even in the lonely moments that will come. We are not immune from the thoughts that enter our minds but we can, with the power of the Holy Spirit, control where those thoughts lead.
As we look forward to this holiday season we can look forward to it with renewed happiness and peace because we know that: “If God is for us, who is against us?” (Romans 8:31 NASB)
May this holiday season bring with it: “the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension” as you let Him, “guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7 NASB).
P.S.: From experience I have found that to open my home for a holiday meal to several others who are also alone is a sure way to find joy while making new friends. There are many around us who need an invitation. Bring them together for a great time of fellowship.
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