It is a proven fact that this time of year, while joyous, it is also a time of intense loneliness for many. Speaking from personal experience, it can be very difficult to be alone in a world of families. It is simply assumed that everyone has their own family. I received an email just yesterday about a day long meeting I’m attending this Saturday. The individual coordinating the logistics took a moment to acknowledge the sacrifice of a Saturday by those in attendance. Taking things a step further, he encouraged us to thank our wives for allowing us to participate in this important gathering and for their understanding.
Yeah, if only I had one to thank!
For many, this time of the year can be very bittersweet. I just received an email from a longtime friend whose relationship abruptly ended just this past weekend. My heart just aches when I hear of stories like this. There is such pain in crushed hope, only to have it compounded by the rotten timing.
So many among us have hearts with gaping holes in them. Some hearts look like Swiss cheese. I know I have holes in mine. As compassionate people, we know all the right things to say. We know all the well worn cliches. Words are not what we need in times like this. We need the divine spackle of God’s love. Only God’s presence can fill the void in our hearts. A tragically high number of people who don’t open their wounded hearts to God try to find comfort or escape in alcohol, drugs, or fleeting, loveless trysts.
Believe it or not, when we hurt, God hurts. The aching I feel for my friend who is going through this tough time is nothing compared to the love of The Creator who knows every fiber of her being.
Maybe you’re reading this and nodding your head in understanding. Maybe you’re reading this through your tears. Understand that God is willing to stop the world to capture your attention so He can overwhelm you with His love. The easiest thing to do is give in to our human nature and retreat into our own personal cave of despair. But it is times like this when God wants us to take our eyes off ourselves, and look squarely into His eyes. How do you do this?
First, praise and worship. Take time and sing your praise and worship to God. I don’t care if you think you have a voice that would peel paint off of your car. God isn’t impressed or scared off by a singing voice. He hears your heart’s cry. By putting God in His rightful place in your heart, you also put your troubles in their rightful place. In His capable hands.
Next, pray. Tell God how you feel. Let it all out. Let it go. Get it out there. No one can possibly understand you better than God. He knows the number of hairs on your head. Even you bald guys…He knows the number of hairs on your back. Anyway, cast all your cares on Him because He truly does care for you. Then remember that prayer is a dialogue. Take time to listen. When you’ve taken these first two steps, your heart will be calibrated with God’s, and you will be in the perfect place to receive what God would want to communicate to you.
Next, get busy. Don’t wallow in self pity. This time of year, especially, there are a million opportunities to serve people who are going through their own difficulties. Maybe there is someone you know who is sick and needs someone to help them with their kids. Maybe they just need a friend. Maybe you can volunteer somewhere to help feed and clothe homeless people. Visit people in the hospital. If you live near a VA hospital, take time to visit those who have put their lives and bodies in harm’s way in service to our country.
If you’re reading this and don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus, and the thought of worship, prayer and all that just doesn’t make sense, please drop me a note. I’ll do anything I can to help you take that important step, then find you a church in your area where someone will walk with you through the next important steps in your life.
When God heals a broken heart, He doesn’t simply fill the holes. He makes the heart stronger. Today is your day.