Psalm 34:18 Jehovah is near to the brokenhearted; and saves those who are of a contrite spirit.
Charles Dickens opened “A Tale Of Two Cities” with this timeless sentence. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….”
For so long in my life the time from Thanksgiving through the New Year was nothing but happiness and anticipation for good things. This isn’t the reality for so many who suffer from so many different things who find it almost impossible to find joy in anything as their suffering is so intense.
When I was in sales the last three months of the year was when things would get exciting. As I sold payroll services those three months were the time of year when potential clients were most apt to make the switch to our company. That meant sales and income.
Knowing this our company put on some pretty awesome contests for those of us in sales to motivate us to make them more profitable. There were huge bucks to be made if you closed the year strong. As I was one of the top salesmen in the company (voted sales person of the decade for 1990-1999) I always walked away with big bonus checks.
The extra money meant we were in a good place to celebrate the holidays with family. We were also in a place that we had extra money to help out anyone who might be in a tough place financially. Those were the best of times.
These last few years I’ve become keenly aware that this holiday season represents the worst of times for scores of people. They don’t get bonuses let alone even have a job. Many wonder where their next meal is coming from.
Our nation is at war and many families have lost loved ones who have fought on our behalf as they served bravely overseas. We are in the midst of a financial downturn that has seen many families lose their jobs with no job in sight to replace it. Scores of families have lost their homes as a result of this downturn.
Across the globe there is suffering on a scale that is hard for me to wrap my mind around. Living in America I am isolated from so much of that suffering. This type of suffering occurs in varying degrees throughout the world. For me this suffering is print on a page or a report on television. I haven’t experienced it.
Natural disasters happen each year with untold thousands of men, women, and children dying unexpectedly. The survivors are left to pick up the pieces and carry on as best they can. Quite often in unspeakable conditions supplies that are donated never find their way to these victims.
Yet untold suffering takes place in our own nation. It always has and it always will. It’s a part of the human condition. Many times this suffering is invisible to the naked eye.
Maybe you are a Christian woman who chose at some point in the past to have an abortion. Thinking your life would become more manageable you find yourself haunted with the pain you feel every holiday season as you recall the choice you made. Maybe this is your deep dark secret that you are terrified to share with anyone. I don’t know that the pain will ever go away but I do know there is help for you. Healing Hearts is a ministry that was created for women just like you. Their website is located HERE.
Maybe you or a family member is a returning veteran who is struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This illness takes its toll on the victim and victim’s families alike. Sadly many sufferers take their own lives as they see no way out of their anguish. Give An Hour is a nation wide organization that provides free counseling for those who have been impacted. Their website is located HERE.
Maybe you suffer with bipolar disorder or depression. Maybe things seem so dark you see no way out. Maybe God has brought you here at this time to let you know there is hope. The darkness can end. Things can improve. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline exists for people like you at times like this. They are waiting to talk to you. You can contact them at 1-800-273-8255. Their website is located HERE.
Sadly I haven’t really scratched the surface. That’s a reality that saddens me deeply but yet I realize there is hope. You may be struggling in one of a number of ways. Maybe you suffer with OCD, anxiety and panic attacks, schizophrenia, or an eating disorder. THERE IS HELP AND HOPE FOR YOU!
This blog exists for times like these and for people like you and me. You will find all sorts of resources to your right and scores of articles in the archives. Please take the time to have a look around.
Mental Illness is not the proof you are a failure in life or a disappointment to God. Those are lies. You are made in the image of God and He loves you more than you could ever imagine.
I’ve been through dark times when I thought He had abandoned me and there was no hope. He was very quiet when I wanted to hear His voice so desperately. In His perfect wisdom He chose another path for me.
I don’t understand God’s decisions and why He does and doesn’t do things in specific fashions. There are times when we need to set our feelings aside and trust God the best we know how. Reaching out to others for help does not fly in the face of trusting God. He has chosen to use others to offer help to those without faith or hope. Quite often those people were exactly where you are now.
So often the hardest step to take is the first one. I pray you would do that soon. God bless you. in the coming year. Allan