Jesus was able to handle stress because He knew when to rest and relax. He could see that so much was happening that the disciples didn’t even have the time to stop and eat something. So ‘he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”’ So Jesus and the disciples got on a boat and went to ‘a solitary place’ (Mark 6:32 NIV). Sometimes we can think it’s unspiritual to take time off, especially if it means saying ‘no’ to some great opportunities to serve others. But, as this story shows, God knows when we need to take a break, slow down, and enjoy life. Rest is so important that God included it in the Ten Commandments. God instructed us to have a Sabbath, a day of rest, because He knows that as humans we need regular breaks to rest and restore our physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. If we burn out because we’ve overworked, said ‘yes’ to too many things, or not given our minds a time to switch off properly, we’re going to limit our usefulness in our relationships, in our workplaces, and in our churches. We won’t be on fire for God’s kingdom. We need to be regularly setting aside time for rest and recreation. The word ‘recreation’ means ‘restore, refresh, or create anew’. When we take time out to do the things we enjoy, we feel refreshed and restored to do the things we have to do. Paul tells us that God has richly provided ‘everything for our enjoyment’ (1 Timothy 6:17 NIV). So let’s make sure we’re taking time out to enjoy the things God has provided for us, rather than pushing ourselves to the limit and becoming stressed.
What do you enjoy doing that helps you rest and relax? Make time to do that at some point this week.
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