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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Susan Hanson

Tuesday, December 7

[H]e has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound...
—Isaiah 61:1

Most of us, if we’re honest, will admit that we sometimes feel like we’re walking around covered in Band-Aids. Everything hurts—not physically, perhaps, but emotionally and spiritually for sure. “I always get depressed in December,” a colleague admits when the topic of the holidays comes up. “I've had a hard year,” another friend writes in her annual Christmas note. “My boyfriend dumped me and my sister came down with cancer.” Add a pair of Band-Aids, big ones.

The great irony of Christmas, at least as we’ve come to celebrate it, is that few times of the year are more stressful and few events more likely to lead to despair. Having been taught what to expect of this season, we are invariably disappointed when reality doesn’t measure up. All of our losses—the promotion we didn’t get, the break-up of a relationship, the death of someone we loved—seem more intense this time of year.

Does God care about these wounds? Isaiah tells us that he does. Indeed, when the prophet speaks of the One who would “bind up the brokenhearted,” he is referring to God’s greatest desire—to see his creation healed, right down to the last injured soul. This may be a season for pageantry and wonder, but amid all the gaiety it is also a time of small miracles, of hearts and lives made whole by a God who has yet to give up on his world.

O God, when I am locked in despair, set me free to experience the peace that comes only through your grace.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2004.