It’s Christmas Eve and here I sit. Shopping is done, gifts are almost all wrapped. The plans have been made for tomorrow’s feast.
The last few weeks I have been so busy that I have hardly had time to think. This being the busiest time of the year and the first Christmas season for a new online shop owner, my focus has been like no other year.
I was so happy to have put a deadline for orders in my shop so I could enjoy my family and dig more deeply into the true meaning of Christmas. Then it happened… I woke up Wednesday morning with an excruciating pain in my lower back. I had so much I wanted to do but I couldn’t move! Thinking it would pass, I kept moving (and screaming with every motion). Then with the advice from my husband, family, friends and a doctor, I decided to sit still. So I sat, and sat, and sat… ugh! Do you know how hard it is to just sit? I hate it!
The pain was not so bad yesterday. I spent some time with my son and my parents baking dog cookies. But, before the evening was through, I started getting a sharp pain in my neck. What is going on?! It is as if there is some sort of force trying to sabotage my Christmas break!
So, this morning, here I sit again. The back pain has returned and is now accompanied by a serious crick in the neck. But in this quiet house, today, I feel rest. Looking at all of this, I see God may be wanting me to slow down. I’m not saying, God, in his omnipotent power, has given me this pain. I am saying that through this time, He is still here with me and is using this to bring me back into closeness with Him.
I look back several months and see how close I had become with Him. My life was less chaotic and my blog posts were more frequent. I believe with all my heart that He called me into using my talents to bless others through my Etsy shop, but I failed to do it His way. I went in thinking I had it all figured out. So I got busier and busier, crafting and painting. My life has suffered and so has my blog. My time with God has been limited. Oh, what I have missed! I imagine Him looking down on me, day after day, as I pressed through each shop order… just waiting for me to look up. Just waiting for me to rest in His peace again.
Today I am looking up. I feel His presence again.
In his book, Letting God, A. Philip Parham writes,
“Often we strive and work until we drop. We fail to take time and relax and enjoy simple rest in peace. If we don’t take time today for ease, we may stay in dis-ease… if we don’t take a break we may wind up broken.”
I’m pretty sure that is what has happened to me. I may feel physically broken, but today, I finally choose His peace to overwrite my pain. Today I get an opportunity for service from a place of rest by writing.
As we celebrate the birth of Christ tomorrow, I want to remember that if God had not sent His son to live among us, I would not have this opportunity to commune with Him or to share the good news with others. It is through the birth, the life, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that I can have peace today.
Father, with all my heart I want to have rest and peace with you. I know a peaceful life is impossible without you. Thank you for sending your son so we can experience your peace every day. I give my life as a service to you, even in my brokenness…because Christ was broken for me. Amen.
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