I know the holidays can be difficult for some people. I tend to struggle with the holidays myself, since the loss of my mom and now discovering I'm infertile. Missing my mom and The longing for a child of my own, can be so overwhelming this time of year. However, my point this morning is not to highlight my pain but to encourage those who may be struggling as well.
I know how very important and helpful it is to count your blessings and find joy in all situations. To seek out scripture that will lift your spirit and offer hope. However, it doesn't mean you must ignore or stuff the real and present pain. If you're struggling, hurt or broken, talk to God about it. Pour out your heart to Him. He loves you and wants to comfort you! He doesn't expect you to paste a pretty little scripture on top of the bleeding wounds. He wants you to come to Him so He can heal those wounds. There are many examples in the Bible of those who struggled with brokenness and sadness and expressed it to God. All throughout the Psalms, David poured out His heart to The LORD. For example, he writes "Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief." (Psalm 143:3,4) and again "So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed." David, a “man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22), did not gloss over his sadness; he expressed it to God. But...he never seemed to stay in that broken place for long, for after releasing it to God he was able to genuinely rise up and praise God! Here's just one example of that, where David starts off by pouring his grief and dismay out to the Lord in Psalm 13:1-2 "How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? Then David turns right around and praises God in versus 5 and 6 "But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me. That is where the joy of The Lord comes from! It comes from pouring out your heart and brokenness to the God and in return, He will fill you back up with His comforting peace, a peace that leads to joy. So, don't just place a bandaid over the brokenness with a scripture and a fake smile. Go to God first, pour out your hurt to Him and let Him fill you up and send you out with a genuine smile. A genuine smile that comes from God, not your circumstances. "You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!" Psalm 30:11-12 "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit." Psalm 147:3,5 "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:6-7