“God never deserts the soul, but abides there in bliss forever.”
Julian of Norwich
The Christmas season is upon us and typically that means a harried and hurried flurry of preparations. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In December, we not only keep all our normal responsibilities, but we add so many other activities to our calendar. The older I get, the more I realize I don’t have the energy or the desire and drive to do the things I used to do. Our priorities shift as we age. No matter what season you’re in or how old you are, we need to seek God’s desired will and commitments for our lives.
Jesus encourages us with these words in Matthew 11:29. “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.” How can we find rest for our souls during one of the busiest months of the year? What are some steps we can take so that at the end of the year we’re not physically, spiritually, and emotionally bankrupt?
On the practical side, commit to less and give yourself plenty of margin and time to fulfill and complete your desired priorities for the season. I am notorious for underestimating how much time something takes to do. The solution is to buffer my time allotments. Cut down on the number of cookies you’ll bake or gifts you’ll purchase. This helps with less time devoted to baking and shopping and less financial stress. And don’t add hours to your day by skimping on your sleep.
Josiah Gilbert Holland writes, “The soul, like the body, lives by what it feeds on.” Feed your soul the gifts of solitude, stillness, and listening to God’s voice. Keep your time with the Lord a priority. During the holidays we’re with family and friends more often, therefore, it is wise to heed the advice in James 1:19 and be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. Keep short accounts with those who have offended you and give them the gift of forgiveness. Humble yourself and ask forgiveness to those you have hurt.
Stewarding your soul is important and even more crucial during the month of December. As the soul goes, so goes the rest of your life, including your relationships with those you love. I want to encourage you to nourish your soul during this holiday season.
“We take excellent care of our bodies which we have for only a lifetime; yet we let our souls shrivel which we will have for eternity.”
1. What are you feeding your soul this season?
2. What steps will you take to guarantee finding God’s desired rest for your soul?