Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. —Genesis 2:3 From the very beginning, rest has had a special significance for God. God rested, and He made the seventh day a day of rest for us as well (Exodus20:8-11).
So the Lord said to Moses: “Gather to Me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them; bring them to the tabernacle of meeting, that they may stand there with you. Then I will come down and talk with you there. I will take of the Spirit that is upon you and will put the same upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, that you may not bear it yourself alone.” —Numbers 11:16-17
Pushing hard with many hours and demands can become counterproductive. We need to set boundaries around our time and energy to protect ourselves. God is aware of our limitations and encourages us to lighten the load by delegating responsibility to others who can help us be more productive and effective. We should consider our responsibilities and how we can delegate to others in order to get the job done.
But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. —Isaiah 40:31
Isaiah reminded God’s people of the value of waiting upon the Lord. “Waiting” does not mean inactivity; rather, it is patient service that is not over committed and overextended.
Many desire to “mount up with wings like eagles,” but they assume that the harder they run the more likely they will fly. The harder people run the more likely they will fall. Instead, “those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.” Such “waiting” is the antidote for spiritual burnout.
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. —Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus says that He will take from our shoulders the heavy burdens that are burning us out, and replace them with an easy yoke, a light burden. Jesus is in touch with the burdens of life that we carry and how much they hurt and exhaust us. When we give our troubled hearts to Him, He gives us rest for our souls. That kind of rest will cure our burnout and renew our enthusiasm for Him.
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. So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves. —Mark 6:31-32
Even our Savior, being God, was aware of His human limitations. He never seemed to be in a hurry; He didn’t work 24-hour days. Even as more and more people crowded to Him to hear His words and be healed, He would often withdraw into the wilderness and pray (Luke 5:15-17). After an exhausting time of ministry, Jesus invited His disciples to take a break in order to refresh themselves. A hectic schedule takes a physical, emotional, and spiritual toll on us. God knows that we need to come aside and rest a while so that we don’t burn out. He will refresh us so that we can continue to serve Him.
Rest and refreshment is not wasted time.