by Allison Dixon
I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
Is anyone else already dreading December 26th? It feels like the wonder and beauty that we’ve enjoyed all season is promptly tossed in a tub labeled “Christmas” and neatly stacked away until next December. Life returns at once to its steady and predictable pace. Our schedules begin to clear out and we fall back into a routine of whatever we call normal. It’s a relief at first. But sometimes that steady and predictable pace begins to feel monotonous- even depressing. Why is it after a season of such joy that we sometimes feel such emptiness?
I’ve noticed a trend in my own life that maybe you can relate to. Maybe we can do something to address it, and just maybe we can go to sleep two weeks from today with the same joy that we felt the night before.
We all emphasize the true meaning of Christmas to our kids, but if we’re honest, we get lost in the madness too. Our to do lists and our shopping lists seem to be in a competition of which can be the longest. We rush from Christmas party to Christmas play to Christmas dinner- sometimes all in one night! Please don’t misunderstand me- I love it all. I could honestly wander through Hobby Lobby all day listening to Christmas music and looking at decorations. But in the busyness if the season, we often neglect what Jesus came to make possible.
Jesus lived a perfect life and died an atoning death so that God and man could be reconciled- so that God and I could have fellowship. And that goes two ways- me talking to God, and God speaking to me. In fact, we know that this is the reason we were created in the first place.
Spending time with God is, for most of us, a habit. Prayer is a part of our daily lives. I don’t think our problem is forgetting to talk to God this time of the year. I think our problem is something as equally important- letting Him speak to us. Maybe your prayer time gets a lot like mine does this time of year- a lot of talking, and not much listening. We present God with our thanks and our wish list, and then abruptly cut the conversation off. After all, we’ve got things to do.
Without realizing it, we have robbed our soul of everything it needs to be fulfilled. Jesus told us Himself- we live by “every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). A soul that has become too busy to wait on God’s voice is starving.
Maybe this is the answer to our post-holiday blues. Amid the rush of travel plans and family gatherings, our spirits are draining and we’re too busy to even realize it. When all at once the rush is over, the emptiness is overwhelming.
Your soul needs to hear God speak, but He’s not in a hurry. He isn’t obligated to work around your schedule, or mine. God honors our sacrifice. I know this time of year it feels impossible to set your alarm a few minutes earlier, or pull out your Bible after everyone else is asleep. But your soul needs those gentle reminders of who God is and who you are to Him. You need to hear Him whisper purpose and strength for the days ahead. Those moments in His presence are irreplaceable. And you can’t hear His still, small voice until you’ve intentionally quieted things down.
So in these last days before Christmas, steal away from the noise and excitement for a little while and just listen. I believe it will make all the difference for the days after.