Summer is in full swing. The kids are out of school. Routine is out the window. Family vacations are a juggling act. There’s a lot of laughter, sun, and activity. But while summer is a break from what is normal the rest of the year, it can also mean a lack of rest. Instead of becoming a time to slow down and recuperate, summer can be a time of constant scheduling. Everything speeds up.
Are you craving the time and space to slow down, to rest? Our bodies, our minds, our emotions, even our spiritual lives were never intended to run at break neck speed. Jesus even set the example for us during His earthly life.
As word of Jesus spread, the crowds flocked to him, seeking to hear Him and be healed (Luke 5:15). While Jesus often met the crowds, ministered, spoke, healed, and fed them, He also didn’t allow their demand to dominate His time. He knew that in order to serve the crowds, He needed to spend alone time with His Father.
“But Jesus Himself would often slip awayto the wilderness and pray.” Luke 5:16
“In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. Simon and his companions searched for Him; they found Him, and said to Him, ‘Everyone is looking for You.’ He said to them, ‘Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for.’ And He went into their synagogues throughout all Galilee, preaching and casting out the demons.” Mark 1:35-39
“Now when Jesus heard about John, He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself; and when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities. When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.” Matthew 14:13-14
Jesus slowed down. He spent time with His Father. Then He met the crowds. He fellowshipped. He served. He prayed. Then He went again to a quiet place to pray. Then He started all over again.
Can you imagine constantly being in demand from a crowd of hundreds, if not thousands? Many of you may even feel overwhelmed by the constant demand from your kids, aging parents, or a spouse. While our crazy schedules, service commitments, camps, Bible studies, family responsibilities, and engagements all may be good and pull at our time, we have to figure out the rhythm of Jesus. Slow down. Spend time with the Father. Recharge. Then start again. Slowing down may just be the fuel we need to reprioritize and greet our busy schedules and ministry opportunities with joy and peace.
How do you need to change your rhythms this summer to operate in a rhythm of rest and ministry like Jesus?