WHAT DO THE LONELY DO AT CHRISTMAS?
Dr. Oscar T. Moses
John Cacioppo, in talking about the Lethality of Loneliness, said what we don’t realize is that air pollution increases your chances of dying prematurely by 5%. Obesity increases your chances of dying prematurely by 20%. Alcohol increases your chances of dying prematurely by 30% but living with loneliness increases your chances of dying by 45%.
You can be in the midst of a crowd and still feel like the loneliest person on earth. I have discovered that the experts on loneliness are not the psychologist, census takers or Gallup polls, they are the people that we sit next to in church on Sundays, ride next to on busses, work with on jobs and live in our homes.
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 gift to the world; God is with us. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, became like us so we would not have to make this pilgrimage alone.
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.”
The Christian has the assurance of God’s Word in times when loneliness surfaces. What do the lonely do at Christmas? Let’s examine each step in this 3-part series.
- Reach Within – Reflect! Have a conversation with your soul about how many times the Lord has brought you through the difficult times before. Reflection on God’s acts of grace from your past can bring a sense of assurance of God’s never parting presence.
- Reach Up – Pray! Have a conversation with Jesus. The hymn writer reminds us of the “needless pains we bare” when we do not pray.
- Reach Out – Help! Do something good for someone. Help someone that needs your help and take the attention off of yourself. The old adage is, “Help somebody and you will help yourself.” Reaching out may challenge you to come out of a comfort zone but the effort is worth the try. Finally, surround yourself with positive people who can affirm the presence of Jesus Christ in the lives of all believers and never forget to remember God Is With Us!
Wishing you and your family a blessed and Merry CHRISTmas.