“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6:31)
How often do you give yourself permission to take a break? Believe it or not, some of us need to actually schedule downtime and lay down some rules to rest and relax! Going, going, and going all the time will not get you where you truly desire to be! Life gets so busy these days and I think we often forget that it is okay to treat ourselves to a nice break and a little relaxation. Life doesn’t stop; there’s always plenty to do, places to go, and people to see. But in the midst of all these things, we need to give our body and our thoughts the rest they need to restore and recover. Whatever length of time we allow ourselves to be inactive and recuperate will restore our energy and our focus, and we’ll actually be more productive and maintain better balance. After all, when we take a break and unclutter our minds, we become more available to be still and rest in God’s presence.
“The promise of ‘arrival’ and ‘rest’ is still there for God’s people. God Himself is at rest. And at the end of the journey we’ll surely rest with God. So let’s keep at it and eventually arrive at the place of rest, not drop out through some sort of disobedience.” (Hebrews 4:9-11 MSG)
As adults, we constantly ignore our body’s signals to slow down, and then wonder why we can’t focus or get more done; we often resist the urge to fill every second with activities. We’ll actually spend time doing things, but we won’t necessarily be accomplishing more since our focus and endurance suffers when we don’t give ourselves enough time to rest and unwind. And it’s so east for our daily agenda to become over-scheduled, which makes our bodies and minds scream for rest and downtime! It is when we continue to place high demands on ourselves that we become stressed and may even break under pressure, because the demands on our bodies have become so great. The most productive thing we can do is to allow ourselves to rest and find quiet time with God throughout the day. We know that He rested upon the seventh day as a sign to us that we should take time to rest; likewise, Jesus would separate Himself from His disciples and followers in order to rest and pray.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Jesus gives us His supernatural rest by filling our hearts with peace that is beyond understanding. He wants to silence our thoughts so that we will take more notice of Him, and what’s going on around us and inside of us. Quiet times can keep us from squandering our lives away on the unimportant and needless distractions and give us time to refocus our attention on what really matters. We all need to take a rest if we’ve been putting forth to much effort and hard work to accomplish everything we think we have to. Once we have rested for a while, we can get up and get going again. Life is a cycle of effort and rest. Both effort and rest will serve to energize us, as long as we keep them in balance.
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