rebelling against low expectations

Finding Rest in the Busy Season


Christmas is not the season we affiliate with rest, is it? We might call this the busiest season of all, a month well-known to deprive us rather than bless us with rest. I think that’s a problem – not because we’re busy but because we’re neglecting rest. Or rather, we’re attempting to find rest in all the wrong places.

Have you ever wondered why sometimes on a day off in December when you’ve curled in with a good book and are simply trying to take some down time, some rest, you still find yourself exhausted? I believe that’s because we’re looking for the wrong kind of rest.

There were two men who knew what corrective we need. Despite living hundreds of years ago, they understood where our rest needs to find its place.

The first man is Augustine. He memorably said, “Our hearts are restless until they can find rest in you [O Lord].”

In other words, everything that is not Christ will make us restless. Everything. Physical sleep, the absence of activity, me-time. We were created for rest, but not in anything temporal, rather, in the eternal God. Thus, when we surrender to Him, He will give us the rest we crave.

He promises. “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

The second man who knew this truth was Charles Wesley, who penned,

“Come, Thou long expected Jesus,
Born to set Thy people free.
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.”

Wesley knew that the only way we would be free from life’s pressures, fears, and sins is to “find our rest in Thee.”

In his article, Finding Rest in the Merry-Thon, David Schrock expands practically on this:

“What if we spent less time doing Christmas and more time delighting in Christ? What if instead of gearing up for the marathon, we put away our running shoes and took time to rest in the boots of gospel peace? You won’t need a gift receipt for that purchase.”

December is busy, yes. But busyness doesn’t need to distract us from resting in Christ.

Delight in the Saviour. Cast your cares upon Him. Read His Word. Pray. Love. Sing. Take time to simply contemplate the Incarnation and rejoice in the beautiful sacrifice.

Christmas is for rest, resting in the eternal God – whether it was first in a rowdy stable with two teenagers and a newborn, or now, with family, friends, left-over turkey, and a still shining tree.

“Our hearts are restless until they can find rest in You.”

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Photo courtesy of Eric Allix Rogers and Flickr Creative Commons.

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About the author

Jaquelle Crowe Ferris

is the former editor-in-chief of The Rebelution and author of This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years (Crossway). She's the co-founder of The Young Writers Workshop and hosts a podcast for youth called Age of Minority. She's married to Joe and lives in Nova Scotia, Canada.


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rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →