Rest. Sleep. Siesta.
Whenever we went on holiday to Spain it was always amazing to see the place shut down when the sun was at its hottest. This was siesta time, to get rest when it would be crazy to work. And then there were the British. Sun = burn.
Being on the beach you would suddenly have a mass exodus of people going home to rest. To spend time together as family. To take time to recharge. They would then reappear later in the evening to again spend time eating together and resting.
Whereas we sit and eat a meal and its gone in minutes, their culture was one where the family sat and ate and talked and laughed and rested over a few hours. They slowed down. And there’s us British wanting to cram as much in (food included) to our day, week and basically life!
Now, rest is biblical. God rested. He created the sabbath. Yet in this time of lockdown are we really resting? You may think that sitting and watching films or binge-watching Netflix is resting. But it’s not. One thing this lockdown has done has lulled me into a false sense of ‘rest’.
Lounging around and watching tv or scrolling through social media or playing my games and staying up late and lying in late isn’t rest. You’re getting into a routine that isn’t good. The amount of crisps I’ve eaten probably hasn’t done my health much good, nor the fact I stay up later than I usually would and then don’t get up as early as I used to.
Does anyone else feel tired…?
So, drastic action had been taken. Routine has come back into the Stokes household. Eating well, decent bedtimes, exercise, chores and games are now routine in what we do. Simply because we can get lost doing this or that and lose track of time.
And one main area is getting into a rhythm of rest. Not sleeping or napping (although they are good), but proper taking time out without any device except a bible and a quiet place. If you have the ability to play music through your phone (without the temptation of going on Facebook), then I would encourage you to also listen to the Peace album by Bethel.
Even amongst whatever you are facing, during this pandemic, we must rest. I love the fact that during a storm Jesus took had a snooze at the back of a boat while His disciples lost it.
Mark 4:35-41 - the Message
35-38 Late that day he said to them, “Let’s go across to the other side.” They took him in the boat as he was. Other boats came along. A huge storm came up. Waves poured into the boat, threatening to sink it. And Jesus was in the stern, head on a pillow, sleeping! They roused him, saying, “Teacher, is it nothing to you that we’re going down?”
39-40 Awake now, he told the wind to pipe down and said to the sea, “Quiet! Settle down!” The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass. Jesus reprimanded the disciples: “Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith at all?”
41 They were in absolute awe, staggered. “Who is this, anyway?” they asked. “Wind and sea at his beck and call!”
Knowing ultimately that God has this and wants you to take time to rest in Him during this Covid-19 storm, is a big positive in our lives. I don’t know about you, but I have this greater sense that Jesus knew what was going to happen and, in due course, knows what the outcome will be. Take comfort that Jesus was able to speak a word and calm the storm.
I would encourage you to really seek a time in your day to put aside all thoughts and calm your mind and focus on Jesus. See if you can get an image of Him asleep at the back of the boat and take His lead. There will be more storms in life. Yet we are a people who hold onto a hope and a peace that is beyond understanding. So, instead of trying to understand, go with the Jesus to get your head down, even while the storm rages around you.
Now, wheres that sun lounger...?