I wonder how many people listen to “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and have no idea how melancholy the original lyrics were.
The song first appeared in the musical Meet Me in St. Louis, as the climax to a heartbreaking scene. The character played by Judy Garland sings it in an attempt to comfort her little sister, who has just heard the devastating news that the family is moving away from all their friends.
When Frank Sinatra recorded the song, he asked the lyricist to “jolly up” the words, so the version most of us are familiar with has a much different feel, but Judy Garland’s original performance is a testimony to the fact that the holidays can be a time of pain rather than joy for many.
The sad truth is, many people face the holidays with dread rather than joy. Happy thoughts are replaced instead with memories of broken relationships, the pain of hurtful words and continuing struggles with perplexing, long-term problems.
My mother often said, “Be nice to everyone, because everyone has problems!” The years have proved she was right! But how does one move from hurting to healing? Out of my own attempts to do so, and help others along the way, I have shared my story in three books: The Red Feather, The Broken Curse and The Unwanted Gift. Over time, these books have become trusted resources, used by thousands as a road map to forgiving, overcoming hurtful words and gaining victory through long term, painful problems. Through my own struggles over the years, God revealed crucial scriptural, Christ-centered and effective truths, which then became the focus of these books.
I know from personal experience just how difficult the holidays can be, and the message of these books could be crucial for you or someone you know. In this Bible plan, I want to share the gist of the biblical truths within these three books. Whether read yourself, shared at the office, in the home, a hospital room, or at the close of a friendly visit, you’ll find these truths just the thing to start a hurting heart on the journey to healing.
I pray that as you go through this devotional, that you will begin to find the healing that God promises. Will you pray this prayer with me:
Heavenly Father, this season is hard, but I know that you know that. One of your names is the “God of all Comfort” and you promised me comfort in all my troubles. As I go through the day-to-day tasks of the season, remind me that you are with me and you care about the big and little things that may be causing hurt. Keep my eyes on you and not on this world.
In Jesus’ name,
May this season truly move you from hurt to healed.