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Devotional: July 13, 2021

The apostles then rendezvoused with Jesus and reported on all that they had done and taught. Jesus said, “Come off by yourselves; let’s take a break and get a little rest.” For there was constant coming and going. They didn’t even have time to eat.

So they got in the boat and went off to a remote place by themselves.

Mark 6: 30-32 The Message

Summer is a time when many schoolkids and people involved in education take advantage of the time off. They use the the break to enjoy some sort of a vacation, or staycation. After this last school year, I guarantee you that everyone involved with education needs a break.

One might imagine with all that Jesus wanted to accomplish during his three-year ministry, he would be anxious to not take any time off from His mission. He knew he only had so much time to accomplish His father’s work. He might also expect the leaders around him (the twelve disciples) to feel the same, and to go without any breaks.

However, that assumption is just plain wrong. Here, Jesus and the disciples have endured a stressful time. They have just learned of the death of Jesus’ beloved cousin, John the Baptist. This execution was ordered by King Herod himself!

How does Jesus respond? He suggests that they go away for a while, to rest. Jesus will want their support, encouragement, and presence in the coming days and weeks of hard ministry. Yet for them to be ready to serve, Jesus knows they must “spiritually recharge”, by taking a break.

Life is all about balance. When we are extremely busy, our bodies literally need a physical break. This is why sleep is so important. Finding time to rest and relax, whether at home or someplace else, is essential.

I would encourage everyone to set aside their “to do” list from time to time. You need to give yourself permission to rest. Believe it or not, you are not wasting time when you are not doing anything “productive”. Remember, time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. It is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself. It can be just what our bodies, minds, and spirits need. If Jesus and the disciples took breaks for rest, why would we ever think that we do not need to? Follow the master, and take some time for yourself.

Prayer

Lord of all peace,

When You created our world, even You recognized the necessity to rest. Therefore, You created the Sabbath, a day for rest. Forgive me when I think that my accomplishments are more important than following Your example. Help me to accept that I cannot do it all. I know that Your deepest desire is for me to fall into Your arms, and to be content. Help me to trust that Your timing is more perfect than mine.

With a faithful heart, I pray this prayer in Your Holy name, Amen

Taking advice from Jesus' example, I will resume our daily devotions again on Wednesday July 28th, after I have had some time to relax with my family. In the meantime, I would encourage you to review previous devotions I have emailed out, or review them on our church website.


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