My father and I were very close. We were both runners and spent countless hours jogging, running, and racing together during my high school and college years. When he passed away in 2007, I missed him terribly. The first Father’s Day was the hardest. I remember the Friday before Father’s Day, I sat in my office at work, door closed, crying most of the day. I knew I had a heavenly Father who loved (and loves) me so, but it was still so hard to get through that first “holiday” without my earthly father. A World War II Prisoner of War, he was my hero.
While the most difficult “holiday” for me was the first Father’s Day (and the days preceding it), for many people it’s the actual holiday season, from Thanksgiving through Christmas, which can be the hardest and saddest. The absence of someone we love seems more pronounced during the holidays, when others are getting together with their families, celebrating this season of Joy.
And, it IS the season of Joy. Our loving heavenly Father came to earth in human form to live among us, sinless, and pay the penalty for our sins. If we have accepted His gift, we can have that joy, despite the circumstances of life.
…and yet, those circumstances can be tough. God’s word never claims we will have it easy.
If you know of someone who is going through their first holiday season without a loved one, let them know you’re thinking of them. Let them grieve. Don’t tell them how they should feel. Remember that for some, grief comes in waves, and for some, completely out of the blue. Just as God shows his compassion to us, let us show compassion to those who are grieving.
And if you are one who is grieving, God knows your heart, and you can bring it to Him. May He fill you with the comfort only he can bring.
2 Corinthians 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.