By Fern Horst
Holidays. Days you look forward to with excited anticipation, or face with a growing dread? Whichever emotion is attached to the holidays for you, or something on the spectrum in between, focusing on something and Someone beyond feelings is what God calls each of us to, no matter our circumstances.
Jeremiah, one of the single men in the Bible, had to do this to get beyond his despairing thoughts and feelings. Perhaps you can identify with some of them which were recorded in the third chapter of Lamentations in the Bible:
I became the laughingstock of all my people; they mock me in song all day long.
Many singles know what it’s like to be the brunt of relatives’ and friends’ thoughtless comments and jokes during holiday get-togethers. Perhaps this wasn’t what made Jeremiah a “laughingstock,” but his feelings must have been similar.
I have been deprived of peace….My splendor is gone and all that I had hoped from the Lord.
How many present-day singles feel this way, too! A painful breakup or divorce may have robbed some of you of your “splendor” this year. Perhaps it was the death of a spouse that deprived you of your peace. It may be that you had hoped and prayed that this would be the year that the “right one” came along. But listen to what else Jeremiah had to say:
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him.
It is with this same confidence that we can face the holidays with joy. We have as our Companion one whose compassions never fail and whose faithfulness is great.
In addition, we have the many gifts He has given us. We can recognize these gifts by realizing that not only is every good gift from God, but every gift from God is good. We can then agree not only with Jeremiah, but also with Abraham who said, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen. 18:25) and with Job when he said, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15).