For the past few weeks, bedtime has been a hot mess in our family. Our toddler has been crying every night for various reasons: she’s scared, she wants a hug, she needs a drink, or she has to go to the bathroom. The night typically starts with me gently comforting her and ends with me yelling, “Stop whining! You’re fine!”
She’s usually a pretty good sleeper, but there’s something crazy about this time of year. We are all exhausted, and I’m quick to lose my temper because we are in a season of over-spending, over-scheduling, and over-worrying.
So a few nights ago, while trying to console a tearful toddler, I put on some soft Christmas music. When O Holy Night came on, one lyric jumped out at me:
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices.
The words struck me because I realized that I was weary. I was tired of staying up every night with a five-month-old and a two-year-old. I was tired of working all day, only to come home to dirty dishes and piles of laundry. I was tired of looking at our bills, and knowing that our bank account didn’t have enough to cover them. I was tired of the darkness I was seeing on the news, and the hatred I was reading on Facebook.
I was tired because I had forgotten to keep my eyes on Jesus.
In the song, the weary world rejoiced because Jesus had come at last. And that was before He conquered the grave and won victory over death. When we focus on our weariness and take our eyes off of our Savior, we forget to rejoice over the fact that He came to bring us hope.
It was a wake-up call. As the saying goes—you can’t pour from an empty cup. I was in need of refreshment, peace, and rest, but I had convinced myself I was too busy to sit down and receive them. I was trying to pull from my own well instead of serving from an overflow of what Jesus was pouring into me.
Jesus finds joy in serving those who need Him. Even on the cross, in the midst of His suffering, there was still someone asking something of Him. I think of myself and the way I responded to my daughter calling out for me when I was already tired, but to Jesus, there was nothing more beautiful than someone reaching out and receiving from Him, because the nature of His heart was to serve.
We give Jesus refreshment when we receive from Him: strength, wisdom, endurance—and in return, He gives us refreshment by pouring into us so that we can serve from a place of rest and hope.
1 John 4:19 says that we love because He first loved us. Our love is meant to be an overflow of His.
So my word moving into 2019 is going to be overflow. I’m hoping it will serve as a reminder that when I am feeling weary, I need to refill my well with His living water.