Overwhelmed This Holiday Season? How to Find True Rest in the Chaos
Finding Rest in a Busy Season
It’s that time of year again – the holidays are here with all their hustle and bustle. Our calendars overflow as we try to balance festivities, family commitments, work obligations, church activities, and more. Many of us feel stressed and overwhelmed attempting to keep all the plates of life spinning. We fill each area to the max thinking it will satisfy us, yet we inevitably drop the plates, feeling dissatisfied.
In the chaos, it’s tempting to compartmentalize our lives or just try to survive the season. But what if there was another way? What if we could experience true rest amid the busyness?
Getting to the Root of the Problem
In Hebrews 3-4, the author encourages some worn-out Christians not to give up hope in Christ. Using the analogy of the Israelites wandering in the desert, he reminds them of the danger of hardening their hearts to God’s voice. The Israelites tested God, complaining about their circumstances rather than trusting His power and kindness towards them. As a result, they forfeited the “rest” God desired for them – His blessings, safety, and salvation.
Like the Israelites, we often delay fully trusting God when He prompts our hearts. We put Him off till another more convenient time. Meanwhile our hearts grow increasingly stubborn and deaf to His voice. Before we know it, we’ve developed some bad spiritual habits. But it doesn’t have to stay this way! We can uproot those habits by running toward the right voices and taking our spiritual health seriously.
Listening to the Right Voices
The passage urges us to listen to the Holy Spirit daily while it is still “today” (vs 7,13,15). When He speaks, we are not to harden our hearts in rebellion like the Israelites. What is He saying to you today? How can you posture your heart to hear Him in the Word, through the church community, or simply in whispers to your soul? Hearing His voice clearly takes practice, but it enables us to live fully trusting lives responsive to His promptings.
We also need encouragement from fellow Jesus-followers not to give up hope (v.13). This holiday season, stay connected with some brothers and sisters in Christ. Share honestly about what God is stirring in you lately. Ask for their perspective and prayers where you feel tempted to pull back or resist God. Mutually spur each other on toward an integrated, full-plate life with Christ at the center.
Cultivating Spiritual Health
Getting serious about our spiritual health means admitting where it suffers. Consider asking God to show you any “unbelief” rooted in your heart (v. 12). Where do you fail to fully trust Him day after day? Name some blocks in your relationship with Him that may require repentance and renewed faith. Don’t let lingering sin and deception pull you away from living wholeheartedly for Christ (v.13). If anything separates you from the love of God, take it seriously and bring it before Him, allowing the fertilizing work of the Gospel to stimulate growth in your soul.
Picture God raking up chunks of soil in your heart like on an aerated lawn. It looks torn up at first, but enables moisture and nutrients to reach the grass roots more effectively. Though humbling ourselves in this way may feel uncomfortable, it ultimately results in greater closeness to Christ and ability to thrive spiritually. It’s all part of the process of being formed into His image.
Saying “Yes” Today
Even when God seems to be uprooting things or calling us out of our comfort zone, He offers the gift of “rest” for our souls (v.11). The stability He provides comes not from having everything perfectly together, but from anchoring ourselves in His unconditional love and sufficiency. As we say “yes” to Him today – whether in small or big ways – our faith muscles grow stronger. Our capacity to hear and respond to His voice increases.
Soon we develop a habit of listening and obeying Christ daily. No more delaying obedience or making excuses. Jesus becomes our wellspring of spiritual rest amid holiday chaos. His peace can rule our hearts even when everything feels out of control (Col. 3:15). Though the external pressures won’t disappear, we gain an internal steadiness sourced from Another.
So don’t let this busy season pass you by without pausing to nurture your connection with Christ. Carve out time to dig deeper spiritually. Say “yes” to His invitations today. Discover the rest only He provides…not just this holiday season, but for the rest of your earthly journey and into eternity.