Time-Out for R&R

Making time for rest and relaxation is important for your spiritual health.

By Erin Keeley Marshall

WEB EXCLUSIVE

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.” Psalm 23:1–3 (NIV)

Mama needs a time-out, I thought as I closed my children’s doors at naptime. Actually, the need for time-outs is not exclusive to children and their parents. We all need those.

Even Jesus needed to get away for refreshment. Check out Luke 5:16 to find out what He did to recoup His energy and refill His spirit; He often got alone to pray. He learned from His heavenly Father the importance of taking Sabbath rest, which God spoke so much about in the Old Testament. Back then it wasn’t optional. God’s people would put aside their work for R&R. No ifs, ands or buts about it—God spelled it out clearly in the Ten Commandments.

I love how the NIV and NAS word Psalm 23:1–2: “The Lord is my Shepherd. . . . He makes me lie down.” One way or another, Jesus will help us take the rest we need, whether we do it of our own volition or we crash and burn from mental or physical fatigue. In John 10, Jesus refers to Himself as our Shepherd. As His sheep, our first instinct needs to be to follow Him for our own good.

A few years ago my husband and I committed to put aside work one day a week to prioritize rest and rejuvenation. Our chosen day is Sunday. In the years since then, I’ve been amazed how my efficiency improves for the week! Instead of cringing over missing a day to “get things done,” I actually get more done throughout the week, and I feel more clear-headed and energized.

When I live by Jesus’ wisdom and prioritize Sabbath rest, my “cup” truly does overflow, and I thrive in His goodness and love that follow me all my days.

Faith step: At a loss to fit in Sabbath rest? Pull out your planner and jot it down. Now it’s on the to-do list, not to be shifted.

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