Yesterday was our first day back to work after a five day mini-vacation. No, we didn’t leave Athens, but we were able to spend some nice time with the Pence family (they leave for India early tomorrow morning). We went to the beach (twice), spent some time with teammates, saw some of the archaeological sites, and generally lazed around the house. With a 7.5 month old baby, I don’t know what else we could ask for. This time away, however, has got me thinking about rest. Generally, I’m not very good at it. It can seem so counter-productive and inefficient. However, studies have shown just the opposite: proper rest makes one more effective and efficient at the workplace.
Clearly, our God values rest. The scriptures offer hundreds of occurrences of the word “rest” (or its derivatives). Most of these occurrence speak of our need to rest, God’s example of rest (Ex. 20:8-11), and our coming Rest (Heb. 4:8-11). Despite this, I often do not rest well. I do not allow it to be a time through which God restores my soul and my strength. I have found, however, that refugee ministry – with its emotional and spiritual weight – demands good rest. I don’t simply mean sleep (although that helps), but that which provides the silence and stillness through which God so often speaks. Please pray that we will rest well. Between ministry and home life (Sofia apparently hates to sleep now), quieting ourselves before God in rest is essential to our longevity and usability.