‘Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest a while.”’ Mark 6:31 NLT
There’s an ancient legend that says the apostle John had a partridge he enjoyed feeding and tending. One day a hunter visited him and was astonished to see him playing with the bird. ‘I’m surprised to see you engaged in such amusement when there are great matters related to the Gospel with which you could be busy.’
John replied, ‘Do you always keep your bow bent?’
The hunter said, ‘No, that would render it useless. I loosen the string unless I am hunting.’
The apostle nodded and said, ‘Me too; I unbend my mind for the same reason.’
Guess who said, ‘Let’s get away from the crowds for a while and rest.’ Jesus, the most-in-demand person Who ever lived. Why did He say it? The Bible tells us, ‘There were so many people coming and going that Jesus and His apostles didn’t even have time to eat.’ And Jesus is our example.
One summer a pastor announced he wasn’t going to take a holiday, since the devil never goes on holiday. Some of his congregation laughed; others thought he was very ‘spiritual’. One man went home, however, to see if Jesus had the same attitude. He found that in His three years of active ministry Jesus had ten periods when He got away from the crowds, in addition to His nightly rest and Sabbath day rest. Next Sunday he asked his pastor, ‘Are you following the devil’s example or the Lord’s example?’ Recreation is just that: re-creation, a time to renew your energy and nurture your most valuable relationships. So, take time to rest.
SoulFood: 1 Sam 20:30–23:29, Matt 27:57–66, Ps 60, Pro 22:7–11
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023