When the Holidays Hurt

How can holidays hurt? Holidays aren’t living and breathing, so how can they possibly hurt? Just ask those who hurt during the holidays, and I can promise you they can hurt – even if they don’t live and breathe. While some people are thrilled every time the holiday season comes around, others of us have a variety of reasons why we may look more forward to the completion of the holidays than to the start of them. But the issue isn’t so much as to why they hurt as it is what to do about hurt during the holidays. While the average advice giver will likely focus on ways to keep busy, ways to distract oneself, etc., I believe as a friend reminded me today that putting a band-aid on a wound just doesn’t measure up. So what exactly is the best way to handle hurt during the holidays?

Believe it or not, I would answer this question the exact same way I would answer the question on any other day of the year. Holidays or not, hurt hurts. And when hurt hurts, hurt needs healing. And while the world will offer an endless medicine cabinet of band-aids, these temporary, sticky, plastic measures really won’t amount to anything significant when compared with the healing of the Healer Himself.

Jesus Christ came to heal the broken-hearted, and Jesus doesn’t mess around with band-aids. Nor does He hand out pills, free coupons to life-long therapy, or any other human measure to fix broken hearts. Sure, sometimes the Lord leads us to places, people, and things that offer some relief along the way. But as my beloved Pastor Freddie taught me, Jesus doesn’t want to take things out by the fruits. He goes for the roots. He wants to root out what does not belong in our hearts and lives. He wants to heal the whole deal. He wants to heal us from the inside out, from head to toe and back again.

So what exactly would the best healer in the universe recommend for holiday-time hurt? I can’t speak for the Lord, that’s for sure, but I sure can recommend what I believe He would tell us any other day of the year whether we’re hurting or not:

1. Keep our eyes and hearts on Christ
2. Spend time with the Lord in worship and study
3. Study and apply God’s Word to our lives
4. Make sure we are hooked up with a good Bible-teaching church and the pastor God chooses for us
5. Immerse ourselves in the Body of Christ, remembering to fellowship with fellow believers

While the world loses itself in Christmas trees, holiday lights, cookies and cakes, gifts and parties, and while some of us lug around our hurting hearts during a time of high expectations and reminders of those we have lost, let us not lose sight of the most precious gift of all.


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