His Rest is Enough - Encouragement Café - August 8, 2017

His Rest Is Enough
By Beth Mabe Gianopulos

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

 ”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 MSG

Whether I am on a mission trip in another country or serving God in my local community, I am always struck by how much work there is to do.  When I was in Uganda, I loved meeting the children and knowing that we were helping the children get an education that could transform their lives. 

However, for every child that I met, there were hundreds of children that did not have access to school or an education.  When I was in Mexico City at the Children’s Home, I loved being a part of the children’s lives.  I felt like a member of the family as I watched the kids mature and grow over the years. 

Yet my heart broke each year when I returned for a visit and discovered that a child I had grown to love was no longer there.  When I recently visited Peru, I was encouraged to know that a number of families would receive a month’s supply of food. 

I wondered what would happen to those families when that supply of food was gone.  When I served at the overflow homeless shelter in town, I enjoyed getting to know the men that were guests.  However, my heart broke for the men, women, and children that did not have homes in our community.

It is easy to get overwhelmed when it feels like every step of progress also opens my eyes to a multitude of new problems.  In those moments, I feel like there is no time to rest. 

How can I rest when people are homeless, families are starving, and children are suffering due to injustice?  How can anyone rest in the midst of the pain and the suffering that is occurring as I type this sentence?  Isn’t it selfish to rest when the world needs us?

Jesus, the Savior of the world, knew the importance of rest.  In Mark 6:30-32, the disciples had returned to Jesus after performing miracles and teaching the world about Jesus.  The disciples had worked so hard that they had not had time to eat. 

Jesus did not scold the disciples, saying, “How can you waste time resting when people need to be healed?”  Instead, Jesus instructed the disciples, “Come off by yourselves; let’s take a break and get a little rest.”

Jesus knew that if the disciples did not take care of their basic needs, the disciples would not be able to help anyone.  Jesus understood that fatigue and hunger could not be ignored.  Jesus knew that even he, God’s son, needed time to rest and restore his soul.

While God wants us to take action to help others, God also instructs us to simply “Be still.”  Psalm 46:10 NIV.  When we are still, we can rest in the assurance and knowledge that God is with us. 

Psalm 46:11 NIV.  When we understand that God is present in the moment with us, we know that God is our “refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”  Psalm 46:1 NIV. 

Rest reminds us that the fate of the world is not on our shoulders.  Rest assures us that God is with us, and that is enough.

Jesus, Thank You for the gift of rest.  Thank You for showing us that it is good to rest.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

For more encouragement, visit Beth at PWLawyerMom

© 2017 by Beth Mabe Gianopulos.  All rights reserved.

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Originally published Tuesday, 08 August 2017.