Rest is more than just taking a Sunday afternoon nap, rest can rejuvenate us in body, mind and spirit and help alleviate burnout. Rest can help us focus or become more re-focused.
Even Jesus recognized that ministry can be draining and that taking a period of rest will cause us to stay more focused on what is important...
(Mark 6:30-32) "The apostles returned to Jesus and told Him all that they had done and taught. And He said to them, 'Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.' For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves."
Prior to this, we see that Jesus had sent his disciples out to preach, heal and drive demons out. Sounds like a pretty busy schedule!
When they return to Jesus, they are eager to tell Him all about it. No doubt their adrenaline was running high. I'm the same way after I teach a class or speak at a conference; my mind is running a million miles an hour and "rest" is the LAST thing on my mind.
But here we see the disciples shift their focus from being about Jesus to being about what they did and what they said.
Jesus understood that a rest period would help turn their focus of what they did back to why they were doing what they were doing.
Sometimes I think we get so busy in our life (our ministries too) that our focus gets blurry. Along the way we lose sight of why we are doing what we do and instead of having purpose, we just go thru the motions or we simply put on display what "we" accomplished, rather than giving God the honor due Him.
It's in these moments that a long overdue rest may be needed. Keep in mind that rests are not considered finality. The disciples didn't use rest times as quitting times. Just because you are on a rest does not mean God is done with you.
Don't quit! Once you get revived, renewed, recharged - get back in the there and watch how much more strength, energy and focus you will have to accomplish what God needs you to accomplish, making it about Him and not you!
TODAY'S SCRIPTURE READING: Leviticus 25, Mark 6:30-56, Psalm 45:6-12