Life is busy.
If you’re not running around at work, trying to focus and do your job efficiently, odds are you’re run off your feet at home surrounded by needy children and a messy house.
Things can very quickly spiral out of control; those errands that keep being put off start become very overwhelming. The grocery run can be the final straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Some nights feel as exhausting as the days. We may lay down with our bodies tired, but our minds are awake and worrying, thinking with anxiety of all that must be done and all the needs that must be fulfilled.
So not only do we need physical rest, we also need mental and emotional rest. When Jesus walked on earth, we know the conundrum that he was fully man, yet fully god. Even though we cannot wrap our finite minds around this concept completely, we do know that Jesus (despite being fully god) needed times of rest and restoration as well!
In Mark 6, Jesus and disciples spend time ministering to crowds of people:
30 The apostles returned and met with Jesus, and told him all they had done and taught. 31 There were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his disciples didn’t even have time to eat. So he said to them, “Let us go off by ourselves to some place where we will be alone and you can rest a while.” 32 So they started out in a boat by themselves to a lonely place.
Jesus recognized that he and his disciples needed time to rest and recharge in order to continue with their ministry.
In the same way, we need time to ourselves, to commune with God and to restore our own strength. Not only should we do this physically, Jesus also assures us that he is there to provide for us, to take our worries and fears and to carry them for us.
28 “Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. 30 For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light.” (Matt.11)
For myself, I have struggled in the past few months to balance my work life and my role as a parent and as a wife. My husband and I have also been facing possible changes in our life which has been tiring as well. As I have been spending the time daily to write for Lent, I find myself refreshed and ministered to by sitting by myself, playing worship music, reading the Bible and meditating.
We cannot minister to those around us and be servants if we are tired and worn down. Many people believe that attending to one’s personal needs is selfish, but if we burn our candle at both ends, there will be nothing left of us to give.
Take the time you need to relax, to pray, to meditate and to be quiet. Take the time to prepare yourself for another day, another week.
DAILY PRAYER: LORD, when I am tired and weary, teach me to stop, to slow down and to rest in YOU. Thank you for carrying my burdens for me. Teach me to leave my worries in your hands. Amen.