Spiritual R & R
Read Mark 1:35 (ESV)
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
How often do you spend time alone with God and why is it important?
Jesus kept a full schedule. During His years of ministry, He was often on His feet. He traveled around and taught huge crowds of people. Because He performed miracles and healed the sick, He was often sought after. In fact, in the verses that follow today’s passage, Simon and the other disciples found Jesus while He was praying alone and said to Him, “’Everyone is looking for you’” (Mark 1:37). It had to have been exhausting. But Jesus modeled an important concept to us—setting aside time for rest and prayer.
Many of us are living life constantly on the go. We work hard and we play hard. Plus, most of us have many people who make demands on our time. Sometimes, it can feel like everyone is looking for us and everyone wants something from us. What are we supposed to do to keep from getting burnt out and overwhelmed? We need to follow Jesus’ example, find a secluded place and spend some time alone with the Lord in prayer.
God knew we needed rest. But what kind of rest is best? In the Law, God said: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work” (Exodus 20:8-10). The Sabbath was a day for God’s people to rest from their labor and to get refreshed and replenished. But more than that, it was meant to be a holy day. A day to focus on who God is and what He did for them. We are no longer under the law but the concept of setting aside time to rest and focus on the Lord is still an important spiritual discipline.
If we spend all of our leisure time resting in the ways of the world, we might not be as tired as we were, but we will not be as refreshed as we could be. Whatever is streaming on TV is a poor substitute for the time we spend communing and fellowshipping with the Lord. It is time with Him that fills us up and allows us to pour into the lives of those around. He is the One who strengthens us and enables us to fulfill the purposes that He has for our lives.
Friends, we are human beings. We get exhausted and weary. We need to take the time to rest. But more than just putting our feet up, we need to get in the Word and we need to talk to God. I encourage you to follow Jesus’ example and find some time to go off by yourself and pray today. The spiritual R&R will refresh your soul.
Lord, some days I am so exhausted and overwhelmed. But when I rest in You, it is so good for my soul. Thank You for refreshing my spirit and giving me the strength I need to face each day. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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