December 9

Jesus came to bring us life.  But sometimes that life seems enamored in suffering and pain.  And the holidays don’t seem to be much help.  As hard as it is to think about for many of us, depression and suicide increase during holiday seasons.  Maybe it is the contrast between the outer happiness and joy that is seen around us with the inner hopelessness and sadness that some feel that accounts for this.  When we think we should be glad like “everyone else”, but still suffer on the inside, we injure ourselves even more than usual. What many people do not understand is that even though many people seem holly and jolly on the outside, are not always that way on the inside.  So do not be discouraged by the masks people wear.  The great thing about Jesus is that he can give us the life on the inside that we show on the outside.  He can fill the void in our lives.  He can encourage us and strengthen us.  His Spirit can fill us with love, joy, and peace throughout the year, but most often during our times of discouragement.  As my old professor said, “Never forget in the darkness what you have learned in the light.”