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Winter Rest

Updated: Jul 11, 2021

When is the last time you rested? You took sabbath and you stopped. When is the last time you said no to the tyranny of the clock or your schedule and offered up to the Lord the place in your heart that feels weary?

As I was walking with my husband in the beginning of winter, I noted the leave-less trees, the birds migrating and the grey sky that lay over the land like a blanket. “I wonder what winter is like for farmers,” I asked honestly. I know that farming is hard work, taking for granted the ability to go to a grocery store and buy any of the food I need. But this one little year having my garden has opened something new in me. All that is left from my summer abundance is hearty kale, and it doesn’t need much help.

Going from a season of gardening where I had to water, weed, and pick off bugs and pests all summer long into this winter where the ground is resting speaks to me. It speaks peace over my soul, and I hear the Lord inviting me to rest with him as the ground rests.

Only in the last 200 years have we moved away from living off our land and rhythms of life in sync with rhythms of creation. What was it like to work from spring to harvest, with long days, hard work, the sun beating down and hardly any time to rest? The ground needed to be plowed, the seeds sewn, the crops harvested, canned, dried, and prepared...

Then winter. Full Stop.

What was it like to go to sleep when the sun went down? To wake up and rest, to eat the fruits of the land through the cold months?

What was it like to slow down when the seasons slowed down?

Slow down child. Offer your time to me first and I will give you rest.

I think there is a myth in our culture of needing to complete our check list in order to rest. Let me break it to you -- your list will never be done. There will always be more laundry, more meals to cook, more errands to run, more friends to gather with, and more toilets to clean. It is never ending. But Jesus didn’t say, come to me all you who finished your "to-do" list. He said, come to me you who are weary.

I imagine the trees breathe a sigh of relief when the winter comes. They draw within themselves, dig their roots deeper, and let the leaves fall as they get permission to stop. Have you ever noticed that they don’t drop their leaves when every single leaf has budded and come to perfection? They drop their leaves when the cold comes and tells them to stop. They didn’t finish their “to-do” list. But they get a season of rest.

Come to me child, Come to me and find all that your heart is longing for.

I’ve begun praying, “Lord you exist outside of time, you exist outside the properties of this world. You don’t bow to time, time bows to you. May time be a resource for this day, and I ask that you give me just as much as I need.” It is freeing to not be bound by manmade clocks, but instead look to the Creator of time and to lean into what he offers in this season.

As I write this from my kitchen table in Nashville, it is snowing outside. Today I have had a list, but as I walk in each thing I ask God, how can I be in communion with you and the rhythms you set in place for today?

That looks for me like leaving the overhead lights off, facing the window, keeping my mug full, and worship music playing in the background. May my home and my days be full of the things that give life and life abundantly.

What does it look like for you to be a winter garden? How will you rest with Jesus as we enter into this season?

For as the earth brings forth her bud, and as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. Isaiah 61:11


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