As the holidays approach, I find myself in prayer for many of those experiencing their first “firsts.” Myself having lost a father, grandparents, and having lived in another country during the holidays, I understand how difficult of a time it can be to get through the first “first” in a new situation.
The first holiday celebration without a loved one, the first time away from home, or the first event apart from your family isn’t easy. Especially when these circumstances are not by choice.
Living in a Navy town, I saw on the news today where a ship had just come home in time to celebrate Thanksgiving with their families. There were tons of hugs and kisses shared and some of the men finally got to see their new babies for the first time. Separation is a difficult thing.
So whether it be those off in college, family members who have passed away, someone stationed in another country, or any other reason there’s a distance — good or bad — these “seasons of firsts” are just a part of life.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 tells us:
To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.
So my dear reader, if you are one who is undergoing some mourning or heartache during these holidays, know that you are loved and that Jesus has borne your griefs and carried your sorrows. (Isa.53:4) You are not alone. If you are one who knows of someone who is experiencing a “first” this year, pray for them, encourage them, even include them in festivities if you are able. Help “bear one another’s burdens” as Jesus asked us to do. (Gal. 6:2)
We cannot change the past, nor always change our current situation, but we can embrace one another through the Spirit right now. And what about the future? Ecclesiastes 3:11 — He has made everything beautiful in its time. Time is a healer.
There will be many different situations but only one “first” to have to go through each time. May God give you grace as you travel on your journey.