‘Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ Mark 6:31 NIV
Take time out to enjoy life. Jesus did that. ‘Because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them, “Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”’
Jesus not only took time for relaxation and recreation, He essentially told those who’d been working hard without relief, ‘You deserve a break today. Let’s get some rest. Let’s take time off.’ So they got into a boat, rode to the other side of the lake, and went out into the desert. Jesus was able to handle stress because He knew when to relax.
Rest and recreation in life aren’t optional, and they’re definitely not ‘unspiritual’. Rest is so important that God included it in the Ten Commandments. The Sabbath was made for mankind because God knows our physical, emotional, and spiritual constitutions demand regular periodic breaks. Jesus survived stress because He enjoyed life. JB Phillips’ paraphrase puts it like this: ‘The Son of Man came, enjoying life.’ (Matthew 11:19 PHPS) And Paul tells us that God has richly provided ‘everything for our enjoyment.’ (1 Timothy 6:17 NIV)
Balance is the key to stress management. Today if you feel burned out, check two things:
(1) Are you drawing daily on God’s grace, or are you depending on yourself?
(2) Do you regularly set aside time for rest and recreation? The word ‘recreation’ means ‘restore, refresh, or create anew’. Are you getting the picture? If you burn out, what use will you be to God’s Kingdom, to your family, or to yourself?
SoulFood: 1 Sam 1–3, Matt 26:17–29, Ps 34, Pro 21:14–16
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023