Holiday Lament

 The worship service this past Sunday was a little different than most, but like the old Arby’s commercial sometimes “Different is good”. We were urged to remember that while most of us celebrate the holidays with family and times of good cheer, there are many among us who struggle with hardships and loss. Tracy Sanchez shared his story of personal difficulty with the loss of his father & brother preceding his diagnosis of cancer. It made us all stop to appreciate how important it is to not only laugh with those who laugh but to be engaged in the lives of our brothers & sisters and weep with those who weep, as they go through difficulties in life!
Leon’s message came from the book of Lamentations chapter 3:24 which reminded us that, “The Lord is my portion saith my soul; therefore I will hope in him”. The reality is that there are times when we all will go through grief and loss in this life but out of the grief there is HOPE. In order to find that hope we must remember not to hid the hurt & pain of life but share it with others so that they can help us find hope in God.  
The challenge is always before us to pretend that nothing is wrong and that we’ve got it all together. However, when we do this we not only make our burdens more difficult to bear but we also make it hard for our church family to come along side and share in our grief! Instead of trying to hide our hurts and pains in life we should remember that the Lord is near and wants us to cast our burdens upon him, (and sometimes the way we do that is to share what we’re going through with others). If we will do that, God will open our eyes to see that even through our grief, “His compassion fails not; they are new every morning!”    
So let’s remember this week that the holidays are a wonderful time to celebrate the blessings of family & friends but let’s not forget that for many it is also a time of great struggle. We can be a source of encouragement to others who are grieving during this time by acknowledging the hurt and pain they are going and also reminding them that God’s mercies are new every morning and in him we can always find HOPE!
John P. – 12/13/16

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