Advent is the season which includes the four Sundays preceding Christmas and the expectation of the reappearance of Jesus when time is full. We celebrate His coming as a baby while we await His coming as a Judge. It is a time of waiting and preparation and, unfortunately, a time of stress. In short, it’s the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The two biggest yearly holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, occur mere weeks apart. While these family celebrations can bring joy, excitement, pleasure, and anticipation, they can also bring anxiety, depression, disappointment, and frustration.
Statistics show that addictions, depression, and suicide peak during these two months, and especially during the month of January when all the excitement is over and, for some, only the unmet expectations and loaded credit card bills remain. My private practice fills with clients who spend their sessions in tears because their childhood memories, which have been steeped in dysfunction, get triggered in the Christmas season.
Though many of us may feel the sting of disappointment, the despair of loneliness, and the anxiety from stress, we, as Christians, have hope. Through Scriptures, our Heavenly Father reminds us that He loves us, He knows our needs, and He provides for us. We are not alone, for He never, no never, no never forsakes us.
As followers of Jesus, we can renew our minds and moods daily by asking the Holy Spirit to minister to us. When we are fearful and hurting, we can turn to the One who has come to save us and who will come again soon. The LORD is faithful and does not disappoint. He is the epitome of love, grace, redemption, and renewal. He is stable when our emotions are not. He brings joy when we have none. He brings peace if we will but ask. And, He saves those who submit.
The babe in swaddling clothes. The man on the cross. The Love that knows no bounds. He is with us. He is coming. Jesus is the Promise.