The Pain of Christmas and the New Year How to Deal with a Painful Christmas

Does Christmas and the New Year find you painfully tossed from your high horse of abundant health, satisfying relationship, fulfilling family life, rewarding career or financial freedom?

Does Christmas and the New Year find you painfully grovelling in sickness, loneliness, childlessness, joblessness or debt?

Does Christmas and the New Year find you painfully wondering why you are being led, managed or employed by those you were formerly leading, managing or employing? 

Does Christmas and the New Year find you painfully wondering what went wrong when all along you thought you were doing the right thing?

Does Christmas and the New Year find you painfully trapped in that habit or relationship or debt or job group or academic level that you resolved you would leave years ago? 

Does Christmas and the New Year find you painfully blinded by pain and confusion?

Does Christmas and the New Year find you painfully questioning everything you have ever been taught?

If it does, learn from what Paul, the man formerly known as Saul, experienced in Acts 22:3-11 for he says:

3I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.
 4And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.
 5As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.
6And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.
 7And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
 8And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.
 9And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.
 10And I said, What shall I do, LORD? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.
 11And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.                                                                                                                                                                                  

We can see that Saul-Paul was on his way to Damascus to discharge the duties of his high profile job (we know that his was a high profile job since he received orders from the Council of Elders) of arresting Christians and taking them back to Jerusalem to be punished for being Christians when he fell from his high horse and high profile job.

We can also see that one minute he was healthy man and in the twinkling of an eye, he was totally blind. 

This sudden change of his condition necessitated that the people he had formerly led to track down Christians, (and even those he possibly supervised as they stoned Stephen), now had to lead him instead.   

We can also see that Saul-Paul thought he was doing the right thing (for he says he was zealous towards God as he had been taught about Him at the feet of the great Gamaliel) when all of a sudden it all went “wrong” and he ended up lying on the dirt road blind.

We can also suppose that Saul-Paul thought he would take just one moment riding through that spot on the Road to Damascus and yet he took much longer for he was struck down from his horse, blinded, had a conversation with Jesus and then his travel companions had to organize themselves to lead him as he could no longer see.

We can also suppose the sudden bright light at noon (meaning it must have been very bright) “could have also blinded him mentally with questions such as “What is going on?”, "How come I can't see?", "Who put of my lights", “Was that a UFO?” before Jesus spoke and identified himself.

Finally, we can also see that Saul-Paul who received approval and authority from the High Priests and Council of Elders to arrest these “bad” followers of Christ, could also have questioned everything he had ever been taught according to the perfect manner of the law of his fathers when Jesus Christ asked him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

Therefore, if Christmas and the new year finds you tossed from your high horse and wondering why everything went so wrong as you question everything you have ever been taught understand that Saul had to go through his painful experience so that he could be shaken and become the Paul who would fulfill his purpose by doing the things which were appointed for him to do (Acts 22:10). 

He had to be feel the pain of being blinded and falling from his high horse and high profile job and hearing a Voice that those who were now leading him could not hear so that the Paul within could be open to being led to his life’s purpose.  

Therefore, understand that pain often delivers your purpose and learn from Saul-Paul and just ask Jesus, “What shall I do Lord?” (Acts 22: 10)

Then let doing the things He has appointed for you to do or fulfilling your Life's Purpose be the only New Year's Resolution you make so that the pain can fuel the purpose as the purpose heals the pain. 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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