Friday, November 5, 2021

When You Wish You Could Hibernate

BySarah Geringer 

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

 Matthew 11:28 NLT

An article about hibernation caught my eye this week. It described how several types of animals and even insects hibernate this time of year in my state. The pictures of bears, squirrels and chipmunks curled up in underground dens seemed strangely appealing to me.

You see, I'm coming off a very busy season. From mid-August to mid-October, I launched a book for teen girls. Then as soon as that was over, I started writing book number three, which I will be turning in to the publisher this weekend.

I knew this would be a difficult season, and my predictions were right. Though I'm so grateful for these amazing opportunities, pushing this hard on two big projects has worn me out. As I write this, I'm physically, emotionally and mentally tired. I need all kinds of rest, not just more sleeping hours.

That's why the photos of hibernating animals appealed to me. In all this busyness, I've had moments where running away from the responsibilities and burying my head under the covers sounded amazing, at least for a moment. I think that's a common feeling when we're handling a lot of stress and simply trying to keep our heads above water in a busy season.

But I think there's more than one reason animals hibernate, and we don't. Animals hibernate to conserve energy during the cold winter, when food is scarce. Hibernation is a blessing from God, a survival tactic that saves species from dying out. It's an amazing way God shows care for his wild animals. We don't need that deep winter sleep because God provides more sophisticated shelter and heat for us.

We also don't need to hibernate because God calls us to be active agents in his kingdom work. Yes, we need periods of rest and refreshment, which Jesus offers us in today's focus verse. We need times to recharge our batteries after depleting seasons. That's why I'm taking next week to unwind, relax, read for pleasure and just enjoy life before jumping back into the fray.

It's good for us to take breaks, but we aren't intended to hibernate. Jesus told us not to hide our lights under a basket (Matt. 5:15). We are called to rest for certain periods so we'll be better equipped to shine our light when we are refreshed. But it's not good for us to hide our heads under the covers as if we are hibernating for months on end, since God has great things planned for each of us, far more than we can see from our hiding places (Eph. 3:20).

When you wish you could hibernate, turn to Jesus for the rest you need. If you need more than just rest, reach out for help like I did years ago (here's a link to a free counseling call). During my past seasons of depression, I truly wished I could hide under the covers for days on end. What I needed then was a helping hand, and you may too. However, if you just need more ideas for rest and replenishment, here's a book I highly recommend to you. It has helped me find the different kinds of rest I need to be refreshed, and I'll be enjoying them next week.

Here's a prayer to encourage you too:

Father God,

Thank you for promising rest for me.

I need it in busy seasons when I feel so weary.

However, I sometimes want to hide from the world, as if I were hibernating.

Yet I know that's not your best plan for me.

Help me receive the rest I need for my mind, body, spirit and soul.

May I be refreshed in your presence, Lord.

May I be better prepared to serve others once I experience the rest you offer.

In Jesus' name,


Seeking rest as you prepare for the busy Christmas season? Check out the practical and encouraging tips in my book, Christmas Peace for Busy Moms.

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Have a blessed weekend!

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  1. Sarah, you brought such wisdom here in your observations. We are called to rest and not hibernate. Very distinct difference. God calls us to come to Him for it is there we will find our rest. May you have a restorative and restful week!

    1. Thanks Joanne. I'm glad God gave me the inspiration for this devotion. I pray it encourages many!


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