Devotional

“Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm.” – Mark 4:38-39.  

Our lives have gotten so cluttered up with things we think we “should” do, we can’t figure out what we were meant to do. Getting our evening to morning priorities right is the only way to ensure we stay healthy physically, mentally, and spiritually. Jesus Himself set boundaries around His time as we see in Mark 4. The passage goes on to say: “Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!” (Mark 4:40-41)

This story is well-known to most Christians, but think about the scenario for a second. Jesus sees the crowd and knows there is work to be done. He knows people need to be healed, demons need to be cast out, and lessons need to be taught. But yet Jesus tells His disciples to get in the boat, and once there, He falls asleep. Yes, the needs of the people are urgent, and their pleading for healing must have been compelling, but Jesus knows that He needs to stop and rest. If even the Son of God needs to stop and rest with all that is going on around Him, and with all of the important things He has to do, don’t you think we need rest, too?

While Jesus needed to stop and rest He was never idle. He packed his life full of more activity than was possible to record. Read through the Gospel of Mark and you will see that the word “immediately” appears some 40 times.  Mark 1:29: “And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.” Mark 1:12: “The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.” Jesus was always on the move from one activity to another. 

It sounds like I am suggesting that we both rest and run at full speed. What I am suggesting is that we follow Jesus’ example and set boundaries on our time, in order to get the rest we need, but also to live full lives. In order to do both we need to again follow Jesus’ example and do what we are meant to do rather than what we are supposed to do.  We usually will not burn out doing the right things. We burn out because of what you don’t do. We don’t say no to unimportant things so we can concentrate on the important things in our lives. We can work all day and all evening doing what God calls us to do, but in order to keep doing that we need both rest and the time to connect with Him on a regular basis.  

Discussion Questions:

  1. Is is possible to rest and be productive in the same day? 
  2. What can you do this week to connect to find a better balance between the two?