Sometimes, fellow former procrastinators, we collapse Christmas night, weary and worn, happy the children were happy. Or, happy we made it through the family dinner or final performances of holiday productions, or happy friends’ parties are over. We’re bushed and relieved we made it through another Christmas.
We don’t have to wait until it’s all over to experience relief and rest.
Luke 2: 8 has my attention. “Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.”
Jesus was in the same territory as the shepherds. He is where we are too. The shepherds were in the field. I think of farmers and military also in the field. Both out doing their jobs where they have to be done because of the nature of their work. That’s also true of us. Then, the shepherds were keeping watch over the sheep. Our shepherd is keeping watch over us.
The sheep did not have to sleep with one eye open. They didn’t set sheep sentries to keep watch. The shepherds took care of that job. The sheep could relax and rest.
This is a busy season for many of us. Yet we sometimes forget why we’re running around in preparation. We forget The King of Peace is the object of our celebration. If we do remember, we delay a peaceful pause to hurry off and do something else.
We can rest because our Shepherd is watching over us. We rest IN Him. “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” John 3:22. He has placed us in Him. Therefore our Father is well pleased with us. We can rest peacefully.
What moments give your soul rest in this season? Listening to carols? Looking at the Christmas tree recalling the occasions you acquired each ornament? Reading to the children? Sitting with a cup of coffee before the household is awake? Unexpected quiet? My recuperating ankle forces me to stop and sit sometimes. I’ve decided to be grateful for that. Forcing myself to rest is good.
When we put off resting we create tension and edginess for ourselves and others. We set ourselves up for irritability and exhaustion. We cause our work to be less productive. Do what needs doing when it needs doing – rest.
Rest acknowledges how God designed us. It’s part of cooperating with God rather than resisting Him.
We can rest from striving to be good enough so we can be saved for eternity. We can rest from striving for His love and acceptance here on earth. We can rest from having to have the perfect tree, meal, cookies, Christmas letter, pageant, and gifts.
Rest brings new perspective. It brings refreshment of body, mind, and spirit. Rest rejuvenates – restores youth– so we can have childlike enjoyment of the season.
The King of Peace provides rest for eternity and rest for our life in the field.
How can you rest in Him this week?