I don’t know about you, but January comes with such a mix of emotions for me. The hustle and bustle of the holidays is over and there is a calm found in the stillness of the days. Peaceful, yet at moments, so bleak. The days are gray, the ground frozen, the air biting. I tend to ride the waves of emotions during these still days of winter.
I relish the simplicity of time spent with my family, cuddling under warm blankets, reading books, and sitting by the fire. Our calendars seem empty in contrast to the previous months and offer such welcome rest.
But then the seemingly emptiness in it all brings an itch that can make me melancholy. I do not quite know HOW to be still, to find joy in stillness. I struggle with the “off” button on my forever running mind and quieting myself becomes a battle I can never win.
Why is it that busyness can distract me from living with joy in the present, and yet stillness can sometimes challenge me even more to find joy in the quiet?
In scripture we find Jesus very purposefully stepping away from the busyness of His everyday life and ministry to be still and take rest.
Mark 1:35 “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He departed and went to a desolate place, and there he prayed.”
Jesus needed the quiet stillness to replenish His soul, to find time to be alone with God and to rest.
Maybe these shifts in the seasons are really God’s way of helping us to reset our focus, take time to step away from the busyness of life and replenish. The deep dark days of winter that seem to drag on in their cold stillness can be a calling to the depth of our souls to take refuge in the Lord and find our rest in Him.
So this winter, as I start a new calendar year, I am vowing to welcome the stillness of my days as rest for my soul.
When the bleak, melancholy moods set in, I will take them as an invitation to spend time with the Lord. I will hear His calling as he beckons me to meet Him in my cozy chair with a blanket and my Bible. I will feel him in the silence of the snow falling and the crackling of the fire burning and I will allow His presence to warm me to my core.
In HIM I will BE STILL.
About the Author:
Jennifer Ragazzo is a member of First Presbyterian of Bethlehem and lives in Tatamy with her three children and husband of fifteen years. She holds a BA in Psychology and an ED.M in Elementary Education and is currently pursuing her passion for ministering through her writing. You can check out more of her writing on her personal blog at http://asoulfullifebyjen.blogspot.com/.