“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.” Mark 6:31 NKJV
In today’s world, where the margin between the rich and the poor keeps expanding, some motivational speakers have normalised quotes like, ‘Sleep is for the weak’ and ‘Why sleep when you’re not yet rich?’
These quotes may sound good, but they are not good advice. In the busyness of our everyday lives, the concept of rest sometimes seems elusive. However, medical, psychological and spiritual sources all encourage us to rest. We are not designed to function without adequate rest because our bodies, minds, and souls require rejuvenation, and rest provides the nourishment we need to carry out good work.
Rest allows us to recharge mentally, emotionally, and physically, enabling us to do our best work. Resting is not a sign of weakness or laziness but a means of renewal. A tired body cannot run a marathon, and a weary mind cannot think creatively or logically.
In the story in our anchor verse, Jesus and His disciples had been so busy that they hadn’t had time to eat, and knowing that they still had a lot of work ahead of them, He told them to withdraw themselves to eat and rest. In the verses that follow, we see that He was moved with compassion and went as far as to feed the multitudes who had followed Him for days without rest (Mark 6:35-44). Also, throughout God’s interactions with the Israelites, God emphasised rest after work (Exodus 20:8-10).
While discipline, hard work and excellence in our workplace or local assembly are vital, rest is equally important. God’s design emphasises balance. The quote, ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ is apt. Jesus Himself often withdrew to quiet places for solitude (Luke 5:16, 6:12, 9:28), showing us the importance of stepping away from the demands of daily life.
When we embrace rest as a gift from God, we submit ourselves to His wisdom and surrender the illusion that our achievements depend solely on our efforts. Rest is something we do not only after work but also so that we can work better.
Dear believer, follow God’s plan and incorporate rest into your everyday life. Today, work when you need to and sleep when you ought to. Take a break from the pressure, drink water, take deep breaths often, and engage in recreational activities.
Do good work. Rest.
Bible Reading Plan:1 Kings 9; 2 Chronicles 8