It seems that there are busy seasons of life when we give ourselves to our calling in more intense and more protracted ways than normal. No matter your calling, your life is demanding, and you are busy running from one event to the next. I don’t suppose that there is much we can do to change that. Modern conveniences don’t seem to make our lives less busy; they just provide a way to cram more. People have begun to think that unless they are busy doing something, they feel bored and unfulfilled.
Because we are busy, we are people in need of rest. We need to physically rest as well as spiritually rest. Even during the ministry of Jesus, there were times of great stress, and He spoke of the need to rest.
And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.—Mark 6:31
I am reminded of Elijah the prophet as he went through a very intense time of ministry when he faced Ahab and the nation of Israel on Mount Carmel. He dealt with the false prophets of Baal, and of course, subsequent events that came one right after another. He was so exhausted that when it was all over, he wasn’t able to enjoy the victory. On the heels of this great victory, Queen Jezebel sent him a message, and he ran for his life. It was at that point that God stepped into the stress and provided him with physical rest and nutrition, and he recovered.
Although we may not be to that point of exhaustion, it is advisable that we find some time to pull back from the hectic pace of life and relax each week. The Lord understands the demands of life and ministry. He knows our need for rest, and He admonishes us to get in the yoke with Him. He promises a rest that the world can’t provide.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.—Matthew 11:28–30
I am laboring, so why not labor with the One who is able to give me rest as I labor with Him? If I look to the Lord, He is more than able to give me what I need in the realm of strength and energy.
Do you find yourself in need of rest? There is a rest for the people of God through a time of corporate worship. God designed the congregating of the body of Christ, not to take things out of us, but to put good things in us. The statement has been made about our physical bodies that, “we are what we eat!” I think that is true of the spiritual body, too! These passages address the fact that God’s church is a good place where we find rest and nourishment for our souls: Psalm 1:1–3, Psalm 73, Ephesians 4:11–16, Jude 1:20–21.
There is an energy, a dynamic that God gives to His people who are willing to come apart from the world and come together to worship and to hear from Him.
I trust that you will get that rest and nourishment you need for your soul this week, as you meet at your church!
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.—Hebrews 10:25