“Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy burned, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28-30).
This verse always helps me to relax and take a deep breath. Maybe we can be still for minute and take a deep breath together. If we ever need rest, it’s during the Christmas season.
My three teenagers love Christmas, and every year I try to make it memorable. While we might make cookies, drive to see Christmas lights, or visit family–we do the minimum. We try to focus on Jesus and giving to others.
A few nights ago, I heard my girls ask their brother if he’d climb into the attic to retrieve our artificial tree. They love to decorate the house every year, but when I heard their words, I cringed. To be brutally honest . . . I felt dread.
Can we please fast-forward to January?
I am weary. I have nothing in reserve and cannot plug myself in to recharge. I’m also in a lupus flare, recovering from minor surgery, and have five doctor appointments this month. (Did I mention I have three teenagers?)
You can probably identify with the pressure of the holidays, especially if you have children. Maybe you are energized at Christmastime, but it’s often a time of sadness for those who are grieving and alone, or those who are just struggling to stand.
Dear friends, God hasn’t forgotten you! He sees your pain, fatigue, and the disease you fight. He saw my exhaustion that night and collected my tears. I told Him I was tired, and that’s when the Holy Spirit whispered the verse from 1 Samuel. The next morning the dread was gone, and I was given new mercies and a fresh dose of grace.
Our God is faithful to supply His strength when we are weak. And we will make it through December . . . because “He has helped us thus far” (1 Samuel 1:12).
Prayer: Lord, we need You! Lift us above the waves that threaten to pull us under. Encourage those who are weary, and may we come to You with our burdens and find rest. Fill us with peace and anoint us with the oil of joy this Christmas as we celebrate Your birth. in Jesus name, Amen.
About the Author:
Angie Dugi lives in Texas with her husband and their three teenage children. For almost two decades she has struggled with Lupus, Sjogrens, fibromyalgia, and RA. She loves to write and delights in telling others about Jesus. She is the author of “What I Learned Lying Down-Hope for the Chronically ill” and “GodSmiles.” You can find her blog at mygodsmiles.com. As she was writing this devotion, the song “Need you now” by Plumb came on the radio!
How can we simplify the holidays so they don’t overwhelm us? Who can you encourage who might be alone or grieving during this time?
This is Casting Crowns singing “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” I grew up singing this class version of this song every year at the Christmas Eve church service. It was my pastor’s favorite song and so became a tradition. Over the years I have liked the song. It was “fine.” But for some reason I am drawn to it this year. As our world is changing, as the moral compass shifts, as the threat of terror spreads around our globe, let us remember our God is not dead nor does He sleep! Let us cling to Him and the peace only He can offer. -Lisa