Contrary to what some might think, physically resting doesn’t show how little you care; often it shows how much you care. There is a story in the Bible where Jesus and his disciples are sailing across the Sea of Galilee. Sometime during the night, a furious storm overwhelms them, sending the disciples into a state of fear & high anxiety. Frantically, they do everything they can to keep from drowning. Instead of being at rest, they are simply trying to survive (can anyone relate?).
At some point during their struggle, the disciples remember that Jesus is in the boat with them. However, unlike the disciples, he is the picture of perfect rest. He’s curled up on a cushion having the sleep of his life. The disciples wake him and yelling over the storm they say, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” Jesus gets up, commands the storm to be still, and all is OK.
If you have been…
a. running a thousand miles an hour in life
b. nearing the point of burnout
c. stressed & anxious
d. neglecting the more important priorities in life like friends & family
…it might be time for a rest. However, you need to understand something. Whenever you rest physically, be it a day off, a vacation, or a seasonal breather in the pace of life or ministry, there will always be those who will interpret that as a lack of caring…rest anyway. In the story above, Jesus has been serving like crazy and the tank is empty. However, the disciples don’t get it so with shock & disbelief, they exclaim “Don’t you care?!” Of course he cares; that’s why he’s resting. It’s pretty hard to love & care for others when you’re a shriveled up, burnt-out mess.
At some point you have to ignore the voices that say resting means you don’t care about your job, your family, your church, or your community and take a rest anyway. Resting doesn’t show a lack of care, it shows how much you care.
If you’re tired, overwhelmed, anxious, or just out of step with what’s important, one of the best things you can do is stop what you’re doing, take a rest, and turn to Jesus. He promises to bring refreshing & rest for our souls as we do (Matthew 11:28-30).