2021 Advent Devotions

Isaiah 40:28-31 | December 3, 2021

Finding Rest
by Meg Rooney

I am tired. I am weary. It’s that time of the year where college students are at a breaking point. Final projects, papers, and exams are on the horizon; it is almost the end of the semester. And yet, it isn’t quite over. There seems to be so much more to do, and not enough time to do it. The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas feel like months, and all college students want is rest. All college students want is to enjoy the holidays with friends and family instead of wishing for time to pass. Of course, college students are not alone in this feeling.

Often, many of us feel as if we are waiting for rest, renewal, and strength. We are counting down until the weekend, until the break, until the vacation. If we can only push through this hard part a little longer and a little harder, then we can get to the break we “deserve.” Of course, this “well-deserved break” is only affirmed when weeks of exhaustion go before it. It reminds me a lot of the 80s song, “Working for the Weekend,” by Loverboy. It is absolutely exhausting to live this way.

Now, I am not going to tell you that hope in God will automatically give you energy and renewal right when you ask for it. I am not saying that God hasn’t satisfied your need for rest because you haven’t asked for it. God is not a wish-granting factory. But God does understand you and what you need. God does not want you working for the weekend. God does not want you to work until you have nothing left. Instead, God wants you to open up the space for yourself to breathe and to let God enter in.

We have a God that is everlasting in energy, in understanding, and in revival. We have a God that will go to the ends of the earth to sustain and renew all of us, not just on the weekends or during winter break. We can find hope in a God who has already given us the grace and peace to rest in the moment we are living in right now. We just have to be brave enough to humbly receive that rest. There is nothing you must do to deserve that rest, either. It is waiting for you whenever you want it.

Prayer: God, thank you for being a God of peace, grace, and renewal. I pray that I may lean on you during times of stress and busyness. Remind me that I am not meant to walk this alone. Amen.