Nowadays we hear increasingly of burnout, which affects people spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. Prolonged periods of stress and demanding work environments can lead to adverse reactions in the body. We also appear to be spending more time 'glued' to screens, whether it be mobile phones, laptops, tablets or computers. Maybe it is time for a break from social media, Zoom meetings and video calls!
The Lord also recognized the danger of fatigue and demanding schedules. In Mark 6 we catch a glimpse of the busy days of His public ministry when He, along with the disciples, met the many needs of the crowds following Him:
Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. Mark 6:30-31
They heeded His advice and departed to go to a desolate place. However, the crowds got word and rushed to meet the disciples. The feeding of the five thousand takes place and then we read that Jesus went alone to the mountain to pray. Luke tells us that the Lord Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed (Luke 5:16).
If the Lord needed to retreat from the crowds to seek strength through prayer, how much more do we need to adopt this habit!
Where To Rest
Science tells us that looking at the sea impacts our brains and mental health. The colour blue has a calming effect and the fresh, salty air relaxes our minds. The feeling of sand under our toes is soothing and often reminds us of the happy, carefree days of our childhood.
Even if you are not in proximity to the sea, most countries have national parks and recreation areas, many with lakes and artificial ponds. The colour green also relaxes our eyes and relieves stress.
Other countries have magnificent forests and hiking trails, which offer stillness and tranquillity deep in nature's surroundings. It is much easier to sense God's presence and commune with Him in scenes of calm and beauty.
Benefits Of Rest
Times of rest boost our sense of wellbeing by reducing stress, lowering blood pressure and alleviating depression and anxiety. Our relationships with others can also become more harmonious as we become focused on the larger picture and remember what really matters.
As our strength is renewed, our perspective changes and our hearts are filled with praise to our Creator. We see His touch in all of creation and remember we were created for a purpose.
In giving us human life, He calls us to embrace eternal life through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. We are designed to have fellowship with Him and to live for His glory. May all that we have and all that we are be for Him!
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:17
Oh come, let us sing to the LORD!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the LORD is the great God,
And the great King above all gods.
In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
The heights of the hills are His also.
The sea is His, for He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land.
Refreshed souls are more effective in Christian ministry and the workplace. Summer holidays give opportunity to pause the busyness of life and spend quality time with God and loved ones.
Enjoy your summer break and get that much needed mental, physical and spiritual refreshment!