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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Handling Grief During the Holidays

. . . weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.  
Psalm 30:5b KJV

Are you facing this holiday season with a sense of dread? This may be your first Christmas since losing a loved one you. This will be our eleventh Christmas without our younger daughter who died at age 32.  It is difficult, but I can assure you that God is a God of comfort. Even though you are feeling now that you won’t be able to make it, God will pull you through this difficult time.

My husband and I found great comfort from God’s Word. The verse for today gives us the promise from God that even though we are in a sad time in our life, we can look forward to joy coming back into our lives.

The “joy” about which God speaks is far deeper than what we think of as happiness.  Happiness is circumstantial—we are happy when we get a new house, or when our children excel in an activity, etc. I like Eugenia Price’s definition of joy in her novel ­Maria: “Joy is God in the marrow of your bones.”

 In the present darkness of your grief,  you can claim that joy which will eventually come back to you. This does not mean that our grief suddenly ends, but we have God’s Word that we can make it through the dark times.  The joy of the Lord can be our strength as we suffer from grief. As sure as the light of the morning returns after the darkness of the night, we can also be sure that joy and comfort will return to the people of God.

Christians can look forward to being reunited with their loved ones some day. If  your loved one knew Jesus as Lord and Savior and you, too, have this faith you can look forward to a great reunion in Heaven.  Jesus Christ gives us victory over death. We are just separated from loved ones for a short time.

Yes, holidays are tough. Here are some things that have helped my husband and me: Read God’s Word and talk with Him daily, keep busy, be with other family members and friends, talk about your loved one, cry when you need to release built-up grief. I can assure you that a better time will come.

Georgia Andrus

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