Mark 6:31 – “And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.”
Summer brings a needed change of pace for many of us. Children get a break from school. People go on vacation and take temporary leave of their workplaces, homes and churches. Daylight hangs around until the evening is far spent. The entire world seems to slow down as the afternoon heat reaches its peak and then speed up again as the shadows deepen and the air finally begins to cool. Animal life runs abundant. Afternoon thundershowers often bully themselves into our outdoor plans. Yes, indeed, summer marches to a different beat than the rest of the year.
But are Christians allowed to laze around for a few days? After all, we are the original workaholics. We must redeem the time and work for the night is coming. Time is short. Souls are dying. We must use every minute for good. Can God be pleased with our leisure?
The answer is…Yes. As servants of the Lord, we cannot live for leisure as some do. However, God designed us to operate best with built in times of rest and relaxation. God established a pattern for us when He rested the seventh day after creating the world. He showed man how to rest one day out of seven. But we do not listen. Even Sunday’s are filled with shopping trips and odd jobs…and I’m speaking about Christians.
We have lost the art of sitting on the porch on a hot summer evening and telling stories of time past. We feel guilty if we are not in permanent production mode. And, when we do take some time off, we fill our mind with TV and radio or we run ourselves weary trying like everything to “have fun.” Most people today need a vacation to get over their vacation. We no longer know how to sit or walk as we watch the birds and trees and listen to the wind blow.
Notice the verse at the beginning of this article (Mark 6:31). Jesus and His disciples had no leisure time—no, not even time to eat. Jesus told them to come apart and rest awhile. Someone has said that we had better come apart and rest or else we will simply come apart. Some of you are almost there. You know what I am talking about.
Take some time this summer and rest. Get apart from your duties and problems. Don’t worry. They will still be there when you get back. You do not have to get out of town or take a long trip. Actually, those vacations are often the least restful. Perhaps you could just turn off your phone and unplug your TV. Take long walks in the evening. Drive out to the country or state park and enjoy God’s creation. Let God restore you and you will accomplish much more when you return. Rest is God’s gift to His people.
Matthew 11:28 – “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”