[Wednesday Wellness] For the one who is hurting during the holidays

Katelyn Paxson, LMSW, serves at Living Well Counseling in northeast Arkansas

For some, the holiday season is the best season of all. For a lot of people, this season of Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and all the days in between are filled with more pain than joy. Maybe it’s the recent, or not-so recent, loss of a loved one. Maybe it’s having difficulty with anxiety and depression with the sun setting early, reminders of a traumatic event, or dealing with a chronic illness. It could be that this season just looks and feels differently than years past. Sometimes that hurt feels more like a battle waged in our minds.  

No matter what you are entering this holiday season with, I want to give you some truths of what The Lord tells His people when our hurt is great. 

He cares about your pain 

Psalm 56:8 (CSB) says “You yourself have recorded my wanderings. Put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” I love the visual of this scripture where King David, who is in the midst of anguish and constant danger from his enemies, says that The Lord has David’s tears in His bottle. He has written David’s wanderings in His book. In the midst of pain, The Lord is so near to us, and He cares so much about our pain, that He holds our tears in His bottle. If you are hurting, know that He sees and cares about your pain.  

He sympathizes with your pain 

One of my very favorite scriptures is in Hebrews 4:14-16 (CSB), where the writer of Hebrews says: “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens—Jesus the Son of God—let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.”  

Not only does The Lord care about our pain, but scripture also tells us that He sent his Son to understand our sufferings. Jesus was even called the Son of Suffering. Jesus knew suffering better than anyone and chose to come to this world to take on our suffering. Our Savior is not far away from our pain, and because of Jesus, we can have mercy and grace through seasons of hurt.  

He promises Himself in your pain 

In every scripture about pain, there is a hope and a promise that our Savior holds us close. He has redeemed us, set us apart, and carries us through our pain. Isaiah 49:16 (ESV) reads “Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” Whatever hurt you are experiencing this holiday season, when everything else may seem uncertain or unknown, know that The Lord is near to you, and is a constant presence in the midst of your pain. He provides His Spirit, which intercedes the groanings of our hearts that may be too painful for words (Romans 8:27).  

Psalm 139:7-12 says it best: 

Where can I go from your Spirit? 

Where can I flee from your presence? 

If I go up to the heavens, you are there; 

if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 

If I rise on the wings of the dawn, 

if I settle on the far side of the sea, 

even there your hand will guide me, 

your right hand will hold me fast. 

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me 

and the light become night around me,” 

Even the darkness will not be dark to you; 

the night will shine like the day, 

for darkness is as light to you. 

Friend, if you are struggling with hurt during this holiday season, know that you are seen and known by a good Father that cares about your emotions. He sees your hurt and feels your feelings with you. Draw close to Him in your hurt and tell Him how you feel. You are known, loved, and not alone. Don’t suffer in silence. 

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One Response

  1. Thanks, Katelyn! Good words, needed words. I pray for the Holy Spirit to enable the most needy to appropriate the truths that will see them through.

    I am thankful for you and all of our other counselors who are meeting very deep needs in such a troubled world. I hope you all have your own meaningful, renewing holiday with family and friends, one or the other, or both if you are fortunate.

    Don Moore

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