cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.2. be placed or supported so as to stay in a specified position.
Noun1. an instance or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage in strenuous or stressful activity.2. an object that is used to support something.Funny how its both a verb and a noun. And neither mean anything without the other.
Our actions mean nothing without the noun.
A song uses “rests” to indicate a “pause” in the song. Without rests, songs would be completely different. A lot of times, its the rest that makes the song good or great. If there were no stops or pauses in songs, they would be so annoying and exhausting just to listen to.
When we don’t rest our bodies, don’t we feel the same? Annoyed and exhausted?
The perfect recipe for burn-out is a lot of action, add stress, and a pinch of sleep. Top with discouragement.
I’ve always been one of those people who hate to tell people no, or turn down an opportunity. I have found myself somehow making 4 different engagements all in the same morning. All while dragging my kids with me or pawning them off so I can run some sort of stupid marathon to make sure nobody’s feelings are hurt.
That is dumb.
End result? Exhaustion, irritability, and lack of motivation for anything else. Translation- all that’s left for anyone is my leftovers.
Nobody likes leftovers. Except for spaghetti. And you are not spaghetti. Maybe a noodle.
Your family deserves your best. Your kids, your husbands, your wives, significant others….. they don’t deserve our remnants. Ew. And chances are, you just said yes to everything on the calendar because you felt like you didn’t have a good enough reason to say no. Half (or most) of the time, we never even consult God about our plans, or schedules.
So, how do we decide what to say yes to and what to say no to?
Well there is no magic formula or eight ball that will give you that answer. So all I can say is this…
Give yourself a limit. If your month has already been stuffed full of commitments, or if you know the next few weeks are going to be full… say no to the party, or to the service opportunity, or to extra work hours. Just say no. Set aside time for your family. And most of all, give your schedule to God. Ask Him to give you wisdom in this area so that you can prioritize Him and your family.
God never told us to wear ourselves out. Even He, himself rested. He created and set aside an entire day for it. Do we?
Genesis 2: 2-3 “And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”
In this verse, the word “rest” is a verb. He is actually resting. He said, ok this week has been full enough. Time for rest.
In Mark 6, the disciples have been traveling town to town, driving out bad spirits and doing the Lords work, but never took 5 minutes to eat. They felt so obligated to attend to anyone and everyone who were coming and going, that they wouldn’t even say to them “we must eat before we pass out, please give us a minute.”
So Jesus himself, had to make them rest. He told them to come with Him to a quiet place, away from everyone and everything, and He would give them rest. They got on a boat and sailed somewhere quiet. They had to physically leave dry land to do it.
Trust me when I say that if God tells you to slow down, and you don’t, He will make you. And you don’t want Him to make you.
Never assume that other people know your schedule. They don’t know how busy your week or month or YEAR has been. So don’t feel guilty for telling them you have to pass this time.
In the same way, don’t feel offended if someone says “no” to your invitation. You have no idea what their week or month or year has looked like. Get over it.
Mark 6:31 “Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
In this verse, “rest” is a noun. Jesus GAVE them rest.
We are told in Matthew 11:28…“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
When we come to Him with our busyness, and our “desires to please everyone”, He will give us rest. Our first and only desires need to be to please God and our families. Everything else comes after, if there is time.
How many marriages fall apart because one or both parties is putting everyone and everything else first? Even with good intentions and a pure heart? Our hearts may very well be in the right place, but that doesn’t obligate us to everything our hearts jump at.
Church doesn’t come first.
Service does not come first.
Your FAMILY, next after that.
Let’s be honest. Most of the time we know when we need to say no, or pass up an opportunity. Its time to VERB that out. Our potential to be great rests on it.