When Holidays Trigger Pain


     And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.John 1:14-18 (ESV)

Lord Jesus, we’re always thankful you give “grace upon grace,” but holidays make us even more grateful for your steadfast generosity and kindness. The weight of many friends, and the wait of deep longing, get accentuated during this season. Thank you for your heart-engaging, burden-bearing, peace-instilling love.

We pray for friends facing their first Christmas on this side of committing a loved one to eternity. Death is a thief whose robbery is profoundly felt during holidays. Grant comforting grace to families tender with loss and grief. No one is as compassionate as you, Lord Jesus. Reach in with your tear-wiping hand.

We also pray for friends bracing to endure Christmas Day, Lord Jesus. Old wounds can be easily triggered; messy stories seem messier; loneliness feels lonelier. Bring your loving heart to bear, in complex scenarios and personal pain. The world into which you were born was filled with madness and sadness, broken people and broken relationships. Hallelujah, you shy away from neither.

Surprise us with your centering, healing, liberating presence. May endearing moments actually trump the moments that must be endured. Sweeten the bitter waters of our brokenness with the new wine of your kindness.

Grant grace upon grace to all of us, Lord Jesus. As we lift our hands to praise you, so we offload our burdens on you. You care for us, you love us, and you enjoy us, and that is enough. Use us to comfort and encourage one another this Christmas. Hallelujah, what a Savior you are Hallelujah, what a salvation we have in you. So very Amen we pray, in your tender and triumphant name.



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