She awakes to a tiny wail. Disoriented, she makes her way to the nursery for the third time that night. After another sleepy feeding, she hears her other children begin to chatter in their rooms. They’ll want breakfast soon. Sipping her coffee in hopes it will wake her body and mind, she scrambles the last of the eggs. Money has been tight lately, so they’ll have to go without a few things until the next paycheck. She knows she needs to read her Bible, but she’s weary to the bone and can’t seem to find the time. Or the desire. Or the energy. The guilt of that leaves her even more burdened. She chokes back a sob and suddenly finds herself snapping at her son over his whining for granola. Great, more guilt. She’s unbelievably overspent. Christmas is next week, and the thought of celebrating feels impossible.
If there’s ever a time when we might feel overspent, it’s the holidays. The pressure to buy a million gifts, spend time with family, and be involved in various church events can become overwhelming. We sing songs claiming, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” but we often feel like it’s the most stressful time of the year. While many are participating in Advent family devotions, some are just trying to survive with their sanity intact.
Recently my husband jokingly commented on the amount of Amazon boxes we get each week. What started as a joke led to the Holy Spirit’s conviction: I was in a habit of spending unwisely. I was scouring the internet for new clothes for my newly proportioned body during middle-of-the-night nursing sessions, and it showed. We are prone to look to shopping to satisfy a whole host of desires, from loneliness to envy. The stress of life often becomes a temptation to search for avenues of relief.
The song goes, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!” but sometimes we find more joy in receiving a package on our doorstep. Whether or not we can afford to buy one more gift or one more pair of jeans, we must ask ourselves if we’re stewarding the money God has given us in a way that honors him. What is our motive for buying these things? Have I decided my child needs a specific toy to be happy? Do I feel like I can’t be content without a new dress, phone, Bible study, or book? It’s not these items that are the problem—it’s our heart motives.
Jesus lights up the darkness in the temptation to run to these false comforts. He shines a light on them, revealing their inability to give us true joy. Only Christ brings true happiness and comfort. He alone is light and life to the financially overspent.
Along with our temptation to overspend, we find that the holidays also bring a temptation to overschedule. We want to do all the things, so we run ourselves ragged trying to keep up with every event. But our time is something to steward in a way that glorifies our Maker. If attending every holiday gathering is causing stress, making us feel run down, or tempting us to snap at our loved ones, we need to take a step back. We’re limited beings, and our schedules should reflect that—even during the holidays.
Still, there are other reasons one might feel over their limit physically. Maybe you’re exhausted from being up all night with a baby in a sleep regression. Some feel overworked at their jobs, with stress leaving its mark on their bodies. Maybe you suffer from chronic illness that limits what you can accomplish physically. Many of us are simply weary from the busyness of the holiday season.
But the weary world can still rejoice! Jesus comforts us in our weakness. He became a fragile infant for us, and as a man, he walked the treacherous path to calvary. More than anyone, Jesus understands how it feels to be weak and weary. He sustains the physically overspent.
When we’re at our limit, one more thing could send us erupting into tears or anger. We long to hide away from everyone and everything. Whether the kids are sick again, your husband loses his job right before Christmas, family strife erupts, or pure exhaustion overtakes you, adding the holiday season on top of these life experiences can lead to feeling unable to handle the pressures of life. It’s all just too much.
Let us be encouraged by pondering our suffering Savior, the Man of Sorrows. He sees, he knows, and he cares about your emotions. You and I are free to run to him with our emotions and ask for his help. He won’t leave your side when you’re plagued with sadness. He won’t forsake you as you hide away to cry in the bathroom on a rough day. Sometimes our emotions darken our eyes to beholding Christ. We can have hope because though this world often feels like an unending night, Jesus is the Light of the World—the light of men (John 1:4).
When all feels hopeless or overwhelming, Jesus lights up our lives with eternal hope—the hope that one day he will come back for us, rescuing his people from this sin-shattered world. He won’t leave us as orphans (John 14:18).
These words from Jesus are helpful for the overspent: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:28–30).
Weary, burdened saint, you are overspent, but Jesus offers you rest in him. Come to Jesus and find rest for your soul. Jesus, the Word made flesh, the baby in a manger, is light and life to the overspent. His burden is light. He beckons you to come to him so that he may supply you with the rest you need. Run to Jesus, the Comforter of all our afflictions, the light and life of men.
Meet the Author
Brittany is a follower of Christ, wife to James, and mama to Theodore, William, and three babies lost through miscarriage. She longs to encourage women to think and live biblically, making Christ their ultimate Treasure. You can find more of her writing at https://brittleeallen.com/ or follow her on Instagram @brittanyleeallen.