It always fascinates me when I read how Jesus would find time to get alone with His Father, or alone with his disciples, or into the wilderness for some downtime by himself. He’s in the middle of the most intense three-year ministry the world has ever known or will know, and even with the shortened time-frame, he’d hit a point where he’d say “Enough! Time to get away.”
In all honesty, that’s not how I’d respond if I was on such a huge time-crunch. If I only had three years to save the world? I’d probably never sleep! I’d tell my core team to suck it up, I’d press into the fact that this is life or death and the world needs me and we can all sleep when we’re dead. What are we, made of sugar??
I’d feel really justified during my pursuit, of course, with self-righteous self-validation, and I’d probably crash and burn before I even got to the three-year mark, doing lots of damage along the way to these near me.
Not Jesus. Check out this verse in Mark:
“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’” Mark 6:31
What a Savior!
We’ve all been there: on empty. Whatever day of the week you read this email if you haven’t run out of physical and emotional energy by now, you’re getting close. When your emotional tank is empty, you’re unable to keep on loving people. You just give up! You are overwhelmed and feel inadequate. You tend to get angry with the ones you love the most. You try to avoid people, and you see them as problems. You dream of getting away. David had this problem. He said, “If only I had wings like a dove — I would fly away and find rest!” (Psalm 55:6)
To keep on loving people, you have to keep your emotional tank full, because when it gets low, it’s going to make a difference in your relationships.
The Bible has three suggestions for recharging emotionally:
Solitude. You need time alone. Jesus frequently withdrew from crowds when he needed to recharge himself emotionally. In Mark 6 (KJV), Jesus told the disciples to “come apart” for a while. You either come apart or you will come apart. You need times of solitude.
Recreation. There are certain things that recreate energy and enthusiasm for life. For you, it may be hobbies, a sport, a craft, or games. Experiment, find out what recharges you emotionally, and then make time for it. Jesus was the most intensive, ministry-oriented person that ever lived, but he enjoyed life. Whatever your job is when you’re giving out to others, it costs and exhausts. You need play time.
Laughter. “Being cheerful keeps you healthy.” (Proverbs 17:22) Studies prove that when you laugh, it increases the number of T-cells, which raises your immunity level, which produces endorphins in your brain. Humor has beneficial effects!
God has given us the gift of laughter, and we need to learn how to laugh. A pastor I know said he was counseling a couple who were in serious conflict in their marriage. They would say, “Someday we’ll look back at this and laugh.” The pastor said, “Why wait? Why not just laugh at it right now?” Laughter is a load lightener, an emotional recharger, and a love builder.
This afternoon, after work, before you get out of the car to walk into the house, connect with your Father. “Come apart” with Him, if even for a moment of quiet solitude and submission. Find a way to enjoy some recreation. And try to laugh a little. Watch an episode of America’s Funniest Videos, or a silly cat youtube clip. Or ambush your kids with a Nerf gun. (They’ll love it.)
Jesus made time for it, because even as important as his mission was, he needed it. May we take note, even those of us who are reeeeeeally important!
Ronnie Flores | Meadows Fellowship, Las Vegas, NV