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Word4Today Daily Bible Devotional

by Bob and Debby Gass

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‘The Lord is close to the broken-hearted.’ Psalm 34:18 NIV

Become more real to me than the activity without and the emptiness within

You can find yourself alone at Christmas—sometimes even in the middle of a crowd of people. The sights and sounds that should bring joy can reinforce your sense of sadness and loss. There’s no get-happy-quick formula; processing your grief takes time and God’s sustaining grace. But here are some insights to help you:

(1) Don’t assume. Don’t buy into the myth that everybody else is having a perfect Christmas while you struggle. The truth is we all experience the unrealistic demands and pressures of shopping, entertaining and gift-giving. And it’s worse in times of heartache. That’s why we’re so relieved when it’s over.

(2) It’s just one day out of 365. You can handle it for twenty-four hours because God has promised to give you ‘strength that will equal your days.’ (Deuteronomy 33:25 NIV)

(3) Take the focus off yourself. Reach out. See if there’s a needy family or a hurting friend who’d enjoy spending an hour with you. It’ll probably be the last thing you feel like doing, but it is therapeutic, restores your perspective and brings a sense of well-being and gratitude.

(4) Start some new traditions, especially when old ones just make you feel worse. ‘Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.’ (Philippians 3:13 NKJV)

If you’re feeling lonely, here’s a prayer for you. ‘Lord, You know my heart aches today. Your Word says You are close to the broken-hearted. Let me feel Your nearness. Become more real to me than the activity without and the emptiness within. Help me draw close to You, and in so doing, make this Christmas like none I’ve ever known.’

SoulFood: Isaiah 11:1-10 Luke 1:39-56

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2024

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