Hope For The Hurting

The holidays for many bring anything but cheer. Depression and anxiety are real, and the loss of anything you truly love can be devastating. It was C.S. Lewis who penned these words after losing his wife to cancer, “why love if it hurts so much?” The greatest battle any of us face who struggle with depression or anxiety is to reach out to someone for help. Depression and anxiety are like mini versions of Hell in that what makes Hell, Hell is the complete isolation its inhabitants suffer. Sadly, one of the worst copping mechanisms that the vast majority of those suffering from depression and anxiety is isolation and withdrawal from people and from life. So, what can we do for those who are hurting at the holidays, especially those who feel trapped?

The lesson from Job’s friends is a great reminder to all of us. Job said his comforters were wonderful while they sat by him in his suffering and said not a word. Job only remarked that his friends were “miserable comforters” when they began to speak. Some times the best way to help people is to say nothing at all. They went to Job but their comfort wasn’t in their words, it was simply their presence that helped him most. Like the saying, “Don’t fix me just hold me” that seeks to communicate I care and I am here…

Often times those that suffer from depression and anxiety live with the fear of rejection that if people really knew the depth of their struggles they would avoid them all together not realizing what makes us attractive to other people isn’t so much or successes in life but actually our vulnerabilities. No one goes through life unscathed and the worlds greatest hero’s are those who even though they have fear, work through it not to hide their wounds and the scars but who learn to share them with the hope of helping others find hope.

Jesus didn’t suffer from anxiety or depression but He certainly had to battle against them as He walked the earth and His life is our example. He proudly shows His wounds of what He willingly endured so that we might be made whole. The beauty of Christ is in his wounds, nail scared hands and feet that reveal His love. Our wounds and scars reveal ours and sharing them with others not only helps us, but helps them heal too.

I LOVE YOU!

Michael Osthimer

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