The Gift of Winter

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.       Mark 6.30-32

Even the disciples observed a time of rest from their work.

God has sanctified the Sabbath as a weekly day of worship and rest.

And He has created an annual season which invites rest as well.

Winter is a time created by God to give the earth an opportunity to lie still.  The term ‘Winter rest’, from the German term Winterruhe, means ‘a state of reduced activity in which plants and animals save energy during cold weather’.  God created this season for a purpose.  And we would do well to take advantage of it.

That pushes against much in our world.  For many, there is no letup in work in the winter.  There is certainly no rest from the media saturation in our culture. 

But sometimes seemingly doing nothing is actually doing something.

Years back, one man challenged another to an all-day wood chopping contest. The challenger worked very hard, stopping only for a brief lunch break. The other man had a leisurely lunch and took several breaks during the day. At the end of the day, the challenger was surprised and annoyed to find that the other fellow had chopped substantially more wood than he had.

“I don’t get it,” he said. “Every time I checked, you were taking a rest, yet you chopped more wood than I did.”

“You didn’t notice,” said the winning woodsman, “that I was sharpening my ax when I sat down to rest.”

Winter is the season to pull out the whetstone for our bodies and souls.  The longer nights invite more sleep.  And more time to pray.  The cold days encourage more time indoors. More time to spend with friends and loved ones. And fresh opportunities to read a new book in the Bible or listen to inspiring music over a cup of hot tea.

Sometimes doing less is better.  God has gifted you with a season for slowing down, rest, and restoration.

May the Lord refresh your soul and renew your mind in these cold weeks.

Faithfully in Christ,

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