Afterwards....
“Afterwards” is always so disappointing, isn’t it? Things we look forward to so intensely can bring such joy but the “aftertime” can leave you with the backlash of depression, and emptiness that just seems impossible a week earlier when everything seemed to be going so well. The month after Christmas can be a difficult time for people. Especially those who live far away from loved ones and may have had a chance to see people they really care about, enjoying it all so much, and then they’re gone — leaving you feeling kind of empty. Those presents that brought people such joy and all the shopping you did leaves you now with some pretty depressing looking charge card bills. Also, the weather in the northern part of America and even part of the Southwest has had some bitter temperatures. The deep freeze sets in January and just seems to be a chill, not just the outside but on people’s insides too. And property tax bills come due and it just seems like why was last month such fun and this month so difficult? Until we get to heaven this earthly life promises an intermingling of joy and sorrow, of pleasure and pain, of victory and frustration all mixed together, and we move from one to the other. Pain and depression and disappointment are part of life which cannot be avoided. They can be overcome, and the Gospel of Jesus gives us optimism. It will lift us up from our hard days and ultimately lead us to a new world where pain and depression will truly no longer exist.