WHAT DO THE LONELY DO AT CHRISTMAS?
Dr. Oscar T. Moses
Ray Williams is a psychologist that states the following: “According to the National Institute of Health, Christmas is the time of year that people experience the highest incidence of depression. Hospitals and police forces report the highest incidences of suicide and attempted suicide. Psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals report a significant increase in patients complaining about depression. One North American survey reported that 45% of respondents dreaded the festive season.”
There are a lot of lonely people in the world that feel as though they have no one. Contrary to what many believe, one of the loneliest times of the year is Christmas. However, for the Christian, this is the time of year that we reflect on the greatest commodity given to Christendom and that is the greatest gift to the world; God is with us. For the person who does not have a clear understanding of that phrase let me explain.
Matthew 1:23 says, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Jesus was a common name often given in the memory of Joshua that meant, “Jehovah saves.” Jesus has many names that are given to Him. This passage refers to Him as Immanuel. Matthew is quoting Isaiah 7:14 – Immanuel means “God is with us”. Jesus is the Messiah’s name but Immanuel describes the Messiah’s NATURE. The nature of Jesus does not allow Him to abandon us. He just cannot do it! He loves us beyond human expression and understanding.
Child of God, remember this: There comes moments in our lives when we may feel abandoned by people. Relationships are tricky. Aristotle talks about 3 kinds of friendships. There are friendships of utility where each person uses the other person until they no longer find any use. There are friendships of pleasure where you may or not look for anything you just enjoy the company. There are friendships of the good that have been tried over a period of time and built on mutual respect and admiration. To put it simply there are friendships that come our way and some are for a bigger reason and others are for a smaller season. The Big News for this Monday Morning is this: God Is With Us! Some people will abandon you in times of agony but Jesus is saying to us, “I won’t abandon you. I am with you.”
If you find yourself lonely during this season take this first step of three that we will look at for these next three days and watch God work:
The message for today is:
Reach Within: You have to have an inward conversation with your soul during this time of year to make certain that your view of this season is right. It’s not about you but all about Christ. Harness your will and focus on others. Give up any selfish aspirations to please yourself and focus on someone who can benefit from your life. Reach within and have a conversation with God. If you are depressed or lonely during thus time of year, reach within and be honest with God and be honest with yourself. Do some self-examination. That is the first step of countering loneliest; having a real conversation with yourself about how good God has been to you. God is Good!
-Dr. Oscar T. Moses