All Is Calm, All is Bright-Really?

November 30, 2020

Christmas has arrived early this year—at least it has at our house! I typically wait until after Thanksgiving to haul out the Christmas decorations from the garage. But not this year! Driving through my neighborhood I see I’m not alone in breaking with tradition. Almost every house is strung with colored lights and while driving I find myself singing along with KTSY which began airing its Christmas playlist on November 1. It seems as though we could all do with a little extra cheer this year.

When Josh Groban’s warm tenor voice fills the air with my favorite carol, Silent Night, Holy night, All is calm, All is bright, I find myself unexpectedly filled with a deep sadness. I’m caught in the tension between what I long for, and the reality of what is. If I’m honest, I have to admit that all is not calm. All is not bright.

As thoughts of personal struggles, health issues, and relationship challenges overwhelm me the pretty lights and beautiful music lose their power to cheer. The starkness of a scorched political landscape, the endless wrestling between news and fake news, the devastation of a pandemic have all taken their toll. I’m exhausted by it all. I know I’m not alone. We’re all struggling—pushing against the chaos, against the darkness, praying for calm and light in a season of supposed goodwill. But it seems in short supply.

Before crawling into bed I pull out my Bible and turn to a favorite promise. I read the familiar words, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28, 29, NASB).

That’s what I need. A rest so deep, so complete, it reaches into the realm of my soul. My very breath. I read the promise again, slowly, savoring each word and discover a lifeline. The abyss of discouragement into which I’d fallen begins to shift. The darkness starts to lift. The chaos calms as the One Who spoke light over the earth even before it had form now speaks life into my brokenness.

While all may not be calm and bright in the world around me, it can be within me. If I accept the invitation to come to Him, I will find the rest I so desperately need. Soul rest! This is the Gift He gives us all. How blessed are we?  

I wish you all the rest that only He can give.


Pastor Karen

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