One of my favorite memories of Christmas was going to look at the Lights in our hometown with my parents and sisters, and along the way, whenever we'd pass a house with all blue lights, Dad would yell out "Look, Elvis Fans!" He'd then go in to his rendition of Elvis singing "Blue Christmas," following it with telling us kids to sing the back up "A-hoo, a-hoo-hoo." It was silly, but it was a lot of fun. If I hear that song come on the radio, it brings me back to that moment in time. It's a reminder to me, also, that this time of year is also noted for having some of the highest forms of anxiety, depression, and self harm/suicide rates. What Christian, can we do to avoid the Christmas Blues this year? What can we do to help others get through it?
I think some forms of depression are chemical. I think some personality disorders are, for sure. But I've seen depression, anxiety and other such disorders skyrocket in my lifetime, and I think I have it pin pointed. The more self-centered we are, and the more we teach each generation after us to be, the more we realize we are not the center of the universe, and in spite of motivational posters (Hang in there baby, you're enough), we can't hide from the fact that we're hungering for something bigger than ourselves. Corrie Ten Boom, a WONDERFUL godly woman, survivor of the horrors of a concentration camp where her father was murdered and sister succumbed to diseases, said it this way:
“If you look at the world, you'll be distressed. If you look within, you'll be depressed. If you look at God you'll be at rest.”
Simply put, to avoid the Christmas Blues, we need to stop looking at ourselves, or to ourselves for comfort, and look to God to help us through the depression. We need to also be the hands and feet of Jesus, bringing joy, comfort and cheer to a world that is fast sinking into gloom, doom, and destruction. Let us be selfless, treating others, as Jesus did, as being better than ourselves, serving others, loving others with a sacrificial love that shows people how God loves us. The Cure for the Blue Christmas is not a mended relationship with the sweetheart who left us, but it's the mended relationship with, full security in, and blessed assurance of God the Father through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. It's only then that we'll find rest, peace, and even Joy!
Psalm 91 English Standard Version (ESV)
My Refuge and My Fortress
91 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say[a] to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. 5 You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge[b]— 10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. 12 On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. 15 When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
a. Psalm 91:2 Septuagint He will say
b. Psalm 91:9 Or For you, O Lord, are my refuge! You have made the Most High your dwelling place