It’s December, Sheila! The most wonderful time of the year! Can you feel the cheerfulness and wonder? It’s like overnight the atmosphere has changed to this magical, delightful season. Shopping malls are packed, Christmas trees are up, year-end parties are on, kids are almost on holidays – driving parents crazy (Joking – I meant to say driving us insane! ?), the excitement is building up in the air… It is truly the best part of the year… But the sad reality is that not everyone shares in the excitement for this change of season.
As soon as the festive season hit, I noticed there was this one topic which kept popping up everywhere. Like seriously, it’s everywhere. And, it seems to be a worldwide discussion. It is all over my social media feeds, blogs I follow, various sermons and TV shows, even people just chatting to me have mentioned it in one way or another.
Depression, anxiety, and mental health issues. Wow, that just killed the vibe… ☹. If you were hoping for this post to have some awesome gift lists or fabulous trending Christmas menu ideas, sorry to burst your bubble, sister, this is a serious post. (Note to self, do a gift list and Christmas menu in the next post.) But yes, depression is a burning topic right now, especially about people who are affected over the Christmas season. Depression is one of the world’s leading cause of disability and affects more than 300 million people worldwide, of which most are women! This really got me thinking. We are a world in desperate need of joy and happiness.
So, I totally understand how this time of the year can affect people. Christmas is a beautiful season; but this beauty is appreciated only by certain few people while others see it as a painful, difficult time. It makes sense that people would have difficulty coping. As much as this is an exciting time of the year, a time for family and friends, a time of celebrations, the reality is that it can be an extremely difficult period for others.
There could be several reasons for this; finances, death, divorce, addiction, abuse… this list can get long, extremely fast and that is, yes, you guessed it…that list alone is so depressing… (Eeek, I said it, sorry, sorry, I couldn’t help myself…) But anyways, this got to me and I felt that I needed to highlight this epidemic as well.
Live Called is here to bring encouragement and motivation to women, and what better time than to encourage and motivate than now, right? In a season of happiness and joy we see lots of people who are far from feeling happy and joyful. But whatever reason it is that they are feeling this way, they are not alone. Today, I want I want to give you a different perspective of things.
Recently came across a very profound illustration. It was based on a rather beautiful, but strange image. The picture was of a simple old bowl, a very eccentric looking, old bowl. This bowl was made from blue ceramic, however, there was something odd about this blue bowl. It had, what looked like gold cracks painted across the entire surface of the bowl. These gold cracks made the bowl look broken and someone tried to fix it up, but even so, it was beautiful at the same time.
This image was no ordinary image it was an image of an ancient Japanese art form, called Kintsugi. Kintsugi broken down means, Kin – Golden and Tsugi – Repair. It’s an art form where the artist would repair a broken ceramic artifact with refined gold. The gold would fill in and function as a glue to hold the broken pieces together. So, the gold was not painted on the bowl, as I initially thought, but it was real gold melted between the cracks of the broken pieces.
I later read that Kintsugi doesn’t use just any gold, it uses refined gold, gold which has been tested and put through the fires. It’s purified, cleansed, decontaminated. They use the purest form of gold to hold these broken pieces of ceramic together.
What a thoughtful and beautiful illustration of God’s love is that? Now, take a look at your situation, whatever it is. You know the stuff you are going through. The problems or circumstances that’s making you feel depressed and down, or perhaps you know of someone who is going through a challenging time. But I want you to think of this Japanese Art of Kintsugi.
Think about your life right now as that broken ceramic bowl, in pieces, shattered, fragmented, no hope of coming together again the way it once was… Then I want you to see the gold, the refined, pure gold which is holding those pieces strongly together as Jesus. Jesus as the purest, most sacred gold bringing and holding the broken pieces of your life together. Our Father is the only One who can truly put a person back together again, by His love and by the blood of Christ which was shed for us we have been redeemed and healed. Put back together, repaired, and made whole again.
We sometimes need to change our perspective of our lives, look at things at a different point of view. This simple broken bowl held together with this refined gold can teach us so many things:
- Firstly, it teaches us that in life, things do go wrong and as a result we can get broken.
- Secondly, it teaches us that even though we were broken apart, we can be repaired. If we look to the right places and people for help.
- Thirdly and most importantly, it teaches us that even though we are repaired, we will still show the scars of what we have been through. We will never be able to go back to the way we once were. However, we become who we are with all these new scars which not only make us whole again but make us useful again. Remember a broken person cannot perform at their best levels.
- And lastly through that breaking and repairing process we become a beautiful masterpiece, one of a kind, and God’s treasured possession. We now have a new purpose, to be used for the greater glory of the Lord. We have a testimony of how great God is and we have a greater value.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”ISAIAH 41:10
My dearest friends, if you are feeling down this season please remember the reason for the Christmas season. Jesus came into the world, to restore us, He came to give us hope and He came to set us free from the very things which hold us in bondage, like depression, feelings of hopelessness and anxiety. This season, remind yourself of the loving God you serve who is ever willing to lighten your load…
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”Matthew 11:28-30
Rejoice today that Jesus came to give us life and life in abundance. Joy to the world for the Lord has come!