rest for the holidays

shallow focus photography of string lights

Along with everything else from 2020, the holiday season is taking on a different flavor than in the past. Many are fighting back by putting up Christmas decorations earlier than usual, not a bad idea, if you ask me 🙂

In an effort to savor the days, even when they are wearisome and filled with noise and bad news, I sat in the garden today just breathing. I told Jesus the hard places that 2020 brought, He understood. I poured out my complaints and told Him of the exhaustion that most days I felt to the bone. He could relate. My mind was so noisy inside I didn’t know when it would stop feeling like an obnoxious dance club with strobe lighting inside.

Suddenly Psalm 95 came to mind. I opened my Bible. “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord” Hmm, was He trying to be funny because of my dance party reference? I grinned.

I closed my eyes and hummed “It Is Well with My Soul” quietly under my breath. Maybe it was the warmth of the sun and the Presence of the Son, but my mind began to quiet.

“Let us come into His Presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise!” (verse 2) What was I thankful for? What could I bring to Him with gratitude? This moment, the sunshine, the precious man who built the garden for me to sit in, the strong sons who helped, the way the sunlight was bouncing off those magnolia leaves…

Something began to shift in me. The calming peace came over me as I sat in gratitude for the generosity of my God. I felt loved, seen, known.

“For the LORD is a great God, and a great king above all gods.” (verse 3) I recounted who He says He is, Yahweh, Maker, King, Great, Above all. My trials and troubles seem to shrink in light of this truth. They seemed to bow to the reality that He is the One holding all things in place for a purpose, even the difficult things.

“Today if you hear His voice..” oh the grace of hearing His voice through His Word, “do not harden your hearts” (verse 8) Those ancient fathers failed to enter His rest because they failed to hear His voice with the intent to obey, walk near Him and let His be the loudest voice in their minds.

This holiday season, I am seeking to enter His rest, as Psalm 95 says. I will sing to Him, thank Him and be intentional to listen to His voice through time in His Word. Will you join me in entering His rest? Who couldn’t use some rest, especially now?


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