By Morgan Stoecklein
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
The holiday season is hardly known as a season of rest. How could it be when there’s so much to be done? If you’re anything like me, the anticipation of Christmas brings so many emotions and even more to-do list items.
When you think of rest, what do you imagine? Maybe it’s your feet kicked up with a football game on the TV, or possibly a day at the spa, or it could be as simple as a few hours of silence away from the hustle and bustle of work and home. When it comes to the holiday season, it’s hard to imagine rest at all. Between Christmas shopping*, gift wrapping, decorating, travelling, cooking, dishes, and somehow (already!?) more dishes, it’s hard to get a breath in.
This rest Jesus promises in Matthew 11 is a rest that can’t be shaken. The rest he offers us isn’t temporary. It isn’t disturbed by an alarm clock or disrupted by incessant thoughts. It goes beyond the everyday busyness of our lives, and instead extends an invitation to a new, lasting perspective. We can welcome this invitation from Jesus, by choosing to fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. This rest for our soul is something you can experience now, despite what our calendars look like and how cluttered our minds feel. This rest breeds joy, not the kind that’s aloof and overly positive, but sober, honest, joy.
I’d be remiss if I did not mention that for many, the holidays can be hard, and bring up emotions that no other time of year does. This promise of rest doesn’t save us from hardship or suffering but helps us get a glimpse beyond it. Hope has come through rest, in our Lord and Savior Jesus and for those of us who have accepted this gift, our souls will rest one day, in his arms, just as he intended.
Whatever you need rest from this season, I pray you find it in in the promises of Jesus.
Questions to Consider: How will you seek to rest this Holiday Season? How will you let your soul find true rest in His promises? What is preventing you from experiencing the rest that Jesus offers?
Challenge: Print out this Scripture and tape it to your mirror, or on your dashboard, or wherever you’ll look at it throughout December. Be reminded of the rest that only Jesus offers, and choose to open this gift from him, new each and every morning.
*This is your reminder to buy batteries.