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Saturday, December 8, 2007

Lonely Christmas

This time of year is a lonely time for many people. My dad has always struggled with Christmas. It seems to make him sad and I know several others who begin to experience times of sadness and loneliness just about the time the first Christmas songs begin to play. It is really ironic to me that the time of year that is so exciting to so many people can actually make others feel a sense of depression.

When I ask my dad about his feelings he usually replies with the fact that the songs and the smells and the sights remind him of his own father and the relationship that they had. My grandfather was not the most patient man with his four children. He had a short fuse and my dad was always trying to impress him, but usually to no avail. My grandfather died suddenly of a massive heart attack shortly after I was born. We have one picture of him holding me with my mom, dad and grandmother near by. My dad always felt the disappointment of a disapproving father, and sadly, it continues today even into his mid sixties!

The good news is that we have a Heavenly Father that greatly approves of our lives when they are lived for Him. He is a loving Father who sent His only Son at Christmas so that one day we could live with Him in Heaven! The emptiness left by the relationships of this earth can be avoided when we allow Christ to fill us completely.

In her book, Whispers of Hope, Beth Moore says, "Nothing destroys life like emptiness. Hollow places deep inside of us never sit dormant. They are vacuums attempting to inhale anything within reach."

If we are not first filled by Christ, His love, His forgiveness, His compassion and His goodness, then we are looking for something else to fill those empty places. Human beings do not have the capacity to give what Christ can give. It is unfair for us to expect a husband, friend or our children to bring peace into our lives. Our disappointment is really wrongly placed when we expect others to fill us. They can not! Our disappointment in this case should be in ourselves for not seeking Christ first.

Read John 2:1-11. It is the account of Jesus turning water into wine.

Moore says, "Christ fills empty vessels." "He is the only one who will never be frightened by the depth of our need."

If you are lonely this Christmas let me encourage you to stop. Stop shopping, stop decorating, stop baking... just stop and sit down with God's Word. Let Him know about all of the empty places that you are trying to fill. Tell Him about ALL of the people who have disappointed you and why. TRULY... the shopping, baking and decorating is NOT what Christmas is about! It is about knowing Jesus in a more intimate way and realizing that He came to earth to save us and to fill us... completely!

Oh, Lord! Fill us! Help us to allow You to fill our emptiness. Give us hearts that cry out to You first. Help us to set our friends and family free of the responsibility to fill us with something that will not last. Give us the ability to see You for who You are.. the God that sent His Son so that we could know deliverance! We love you Lord! Amen!!

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