ready, set, rest!
Read Luke 9:18 to see what Jesus sometimes did during His alone time. Read Genesis 2:1-3 to learn why God declared the seventh day of creation to be “holy.”
What happens when we refuse to rest in favor of nonstop work or ministry? How might you help someone find the right balance between serving and resting?
Pedro Soria Lopez is a champion sleeper. He won first place in Spain’s national napping competition. The contest was held in the middle of a bustling Madrid shopping centre where hundreds of participants vied for victory. Pedro’s prizewinning siesta lasted for 17 minutes and earned bonus points for his ‘thunderous’ snores.
What I find most amazing about Pedro’s feat is not his loud snoring. It’s that he was able to tune out the commotion and simply drift off to sleep. As many of us know, it can be hard to find rest in the middle of busyness.
Jesus was frequently pressured by crowds during His time on earth (Matthew 4:25). In one situation He and His apostles were swapping stories in the middle of a crowded area. The place was so overrun with people that Jesus and His friends “didn’t even have time to eat” (Mark 6:31). So He suggested, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” The group hopped into a boat, but the locals recognized them and outran their vessel. When the apostles’ boat thunked against the shoreline, Jesus “had compassion on [the crowd]” (Mark 6:34) and went back to work teaching the people.
The last part of the story reminds me that rest is sometimes elusive. The needs of the crowd—the people and ministries in our lives—don’t always fit nicely between the hours of 9 to 5. However, we still need time to recharge. So what should we do? Jesus modeled flexibility and balance. Sometimes He worked overtime helping people. Other times He prioritized rest above the pressure to serve people (Luke 4:42; Mark 1:35-37).
When we follow His example and pray for His direction, He may lend us extra strength to help others (Isaiah 40:29-31), or He may say: ready, set, rest!
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today:Luke 7:36–8:3
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