I’m not sure how it is with you, but there are many times that I feel guilty if I take some time off … a vacation … even a nap. I don’t know why, but I feel driven to always be doing something. I remember having tremendous feelings of guilt when my mother was nearing her home-going to Heaven. She had been diagnosed with liver cancer and was nearing the end of her life here on earth. I struggled mightily with the decision to cancel meetings and stay home to be with my father when that moment came. I did not want to hinder the ministry for the sake of my own personal desires, but I also wanted to be a good son to my parents and a good brother to my sister.
I read a story today in Mark 6 about when John the Baptist was killed by King Herod. When Jesus heard the news of the death of His faithful servant, He said to His disciples, “… Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while …” (Mark 6:31). Jesus realized the need for some time apart from the ministry in order to gather thoughts, heal and re-charge for future ministry. I want to encourage you today to take time to get away from the hustle and bustle of life for some rest time. You are no better than the disciples of Jesus. He needed the time away … they needed the time away. Some time of rest is necessary for all of us. You may feel that the ministry/job you have cannot go on without you. I will tell you that it can. Actually, your ministry/job will benefit with a “fresher” you, than you when you are worn out and tired.
God was gracious to me when my mom was close to death. He allowed me to have a heart issue that forced me to remain at home for two-months for recuperation. It was during this time that my mother gracefully stepped into Heaven. She did that with my father, my sister and me sitting with her, holding her hand, kissing her forehead and telling her that we loved her. What a blessing from Heaven! Yes, meetings were postponed … appointments were put off a few weeks … preaching assignments were rearranged … but the time of rest away from it all enabled me to minister to my dad and sister. It also allowed others to minister to me. Most importantly to me, it allowed me to honor my mother until her last breath. I want to encourage you to step back from your busy schedule once-in-awhile to allow God to minister to your heart. You will never regret it. Sometimes the fast pace of life hides the face of God from us.
“When God bolts a window, don’t try to go through a door.” – Curtis Hutson