And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. Matthew 6:10
I used to feel a little guilty pulling that one out. I mean, there are plenty of Christians who pull Bible verses out of context, just to get what they want! Don’t need more of them!
But isn’t it true that quite often, we moms just would love a nap? Yep. And when Mr. Sandman is beating you around the head and shoulders with his sandbag, Bible verses about rest just seem so true!
So, pull, I would. I remember the first time I realized Jesus was telling his men to take a nap. Arrgh! I never wanted to be part of any Bible story more than that one. Well, unless it was walking on water . . .
But even that would definitely have to be after a nap!
Then one day I realized something about that verse. I realized it is a command . . . and OH, MY! did it work on my sense of self-worth!
The way the story goes, Jesus called his men aside and told them to rest because they’d not even had time to eat.
Yet the questions always come: How! And will they let you?
Can you relate?! I certainly can!
Those hectic days when everything piles on top of everything else are exactly when we need to remember the command is to back off. Of course, we cannot leave little ones unsupervised while we take a nap, but it is possible to slip into a restful mode and feel the refreshing that can get us through ’til the end of the work day.
Here’s what I learned:
- R is for RETREAT. No one will take you seriously if you keep on puttering in the kitchen or shuffling papers. If you don’t quit, you will never get there! Find an easy chair or couch or even a bed and make it look like you mean business.
- E is for ENJOY. No fair feeling guilty! Besides, a guilt trip is not restful. Tell yourself you need this and so do they. Smile and close your eyes. Sip a favorite drink. Get to another place in your imagination, if only for a few minutes.
- S is for SET A TIMER. Your appointment with rest is important. Make it a good fifteen minutes and make it inviolable time, too. Turn the phone off, give interrupters that blank look, and hush anyone who forgets this is your set time. The timer also assures you won’t over-do it.
- T is for THANKFUL. Tell your heart this is a God thing. Every minute is worth cherishing. That lovely feeling of having rested will take you through the rest of the day and even prolong the rest of your life. This is so good; love it for what it is worth.
It may not seem do-able, but you can do it.
Even taking a few moments out, just closing a door for one or two minutes, can make a difference in how we perceive things and how we respond.
It’s a command . . . Okay to obey!