What if This Christmas Isn’t Merry and Bright?

For many of us, the Christmas season is filled with joyful celebrations, beautiful moments of reflecting on God in flesh, and finally being able to blare Christmas music from our cell phones and cars. For others, it is a time of mourning, loss, and a reminder of deep, personal wounds that can fester in the reflection of the merriment of Christmas joy around them.

According to the CDC, December is the most dangerous month for drug and alcohol-related deaths. In a little over a decade, nearly 91,000 deaths attributed to drugs and alcohol have occurred in the month of December alone. In a season that should be filled with hope, so many people we encounter are falling into a pit of hopelessness.

The story of Christmas is perfect for shedding light on the hope we can find in our darkness. Jesus came into a world filled with pain, a world where people searched for hope and longed for the Messiah to come but were constantly disappointed. The very moment he was born, his people were in the process of being counted by an oppressive Roman government and he himself would soon be hunted by a jealous tyrant. And yet, in the midst of all the chaos and despair, God chose to accelerate his recovery plan. What a hope we have to share this Christmas season with those who are struggling under the pressures and despair of a world that seems to have forgotten them.

As pastors, you see this pain firsthand and are often the lifeline for people who don’t know where else to turn. During such a busy season, it can be a crushing burden to bear. But God’s willingness to enter a dark, dirty, sinful world did not end on that night in Bethlehem long ago. He wants to enter into our messiness, our overwhelmed and overworked lives. What a relief to know we don’t have to clean up our act first to make room for him. He wants to be part of the process.

For more than 30 years, The Life Recovery Bible has been a guiding resource to help people enter the process of restoration. It speaks right to the hearts of readers as they rediscover hope and healing in God’s beautiful story of redemption. It’s a wonderful tool for helping those dealing with addictions, but this Bible can be so much more. It is a manual for God’s recovery plan, highlighting our need to surrender and depend on God’s strength instead of our own.

As you face the highs and lows of the Christmas season, The Life Recovery Bible can be the perfect companion as you minister to the needs of others and as you take some time for self-care and reflection.

“The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” –John 1:4-5, NLT.

This article originally appeared at ChurchAnswers.com and is reposted here with permission.