The holidays are a difficult time for many who’ve lost loved ones at this time of year—whether recently and in years past. It’s hard for some who face the prospect of spending the holidays alone, or who simply feel sadness in contrast to what the holidays represent.
The holidays can be a very sad time of year.
This is especially true in messy marriages and sometimes it leads to feelings of depression or even thoughts of suicide.
I’ve struggled in my distant past with suicidal thoughts. There was a time when my life and/or marriage seemed so out-of-control that ending my life seemed like a calming reprieve from the pain. As I look back on those times now, I’m so thankful that God gave me the ability to persevere—to cling to Him when all seemed lost.
What about you? Are you struggling with these kinds of feelings or thoughts? Did you know that perhaps even the apostle Paul and his co-laborers in the spreading of the gospel struggled in this way? Consider 1 Corinthians 1:8-9a …
“We do not want you to be uniformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death …”
Paul experienced the seductive slide into despair that like quicksand threatened to consume his desire to go on living.
What kept him from sliding completely down into the depths?
Perhaps it was the mission he knew he still must fulfill. Perhaps it was the loved ones he knew he’d be abandoning here on earth. Perhaps it was God grabbing hold of Paul’s tear-soaked prayers and lifting him “out of the slimy pit.”
Whatever the reason, Paul looked back on that time with newfound insight into God’s ways as we read on in verses 9 – 11…
“… But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril,
and he will deliver us.
On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers.”
I don’t know what painful situations you are facing, but I do know that God cares and wants to encourage you, strengthen you, and deliver you … if you will simply reach out to Him.
He’s there … waiting … as close as a whispered prayer.
Speaking of prayers, I am lifting you up right now in my prayers, my friend. I don’t have to know who you are, because God does. And if you want to let me know how I can specifically pray for you, please don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments* or by emailing me at messymarriage at gmail dot com.
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Photo credit by – Foxtongue