A little over two years ago, my husband and I moved three hours from our families to a new church in need of a youth and children’s minister. Sometime during our first week, our new pastor told my husband that he had accepted a new job and would be leaving in a couple of weeks. As a result, it forced my husband to step up and take on new responsibilities such as preaching, mentoring, counseling, etc. (all of which he loves to do). However, those extra responsibilities also required more time to complete.
One of the most difficult things my husband and I face while being in the ministry is actively taking time out of each day to rest. Sometimes there are weeks when every evening is filled with something church related—a meeting (or two), an activity of one of the youth in his youth group to attend, Wednesday night church, etc. Sometimes, I find myself becoming very overwhelmed and longing for a quiet evening at home to do nothing but relax and rest.
Recently, my husband and I have been talking about ways we could incorporate resting into our weekly schedule. Towards the end of Mark chapter 2, we see Jesus and the Disciples passing through a grain field. As they were passing though, some of the Disciples began to pluck some heads of grain. As a result, the Pharisees were very quick to tell Jesus that they were breaking the law by working on the Sabbath. Jesus then responds and tells the Pharisees that even though it is the Sabbath, the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. In other words, Jesus told them that sometimes there are things that will come up that will prevent us from getting a full day’s worth of rest, and that is alright. However, even though things do come up, we still have to find ways to practice the spiritual discipline of resting that Jesus refers to as “sabbath.”
Since we are in full time ministry, it is not always possible to take a full day to rest (ex: observe the Sabbath). As I mentioned earlier, there are busier weeks than others. Even in the midst of those busy weeks, we have to force ourselves to find small windows of time whenever possible to rest our bodies, minds, and renew our spirits. It is often during those times that we grow closer as family, make special memories with our child, and learn to hear the gentle voice of the Lord in our own life.
How are you at resting? Do you find yourself longing for rest, but continuing to press on through the madness of life? I want to challenge you to take the next week or two, and intentionally force yourself to rest and relax. It might not be possible to take a full day, but over the course of the week, try taking a few hours a day to relax and rejuvenate. I promise it will be well worth the extra effort.