“. . . that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; . . .” Acts 3:19
Busy, crazy, hectic, demanding. It’s how life feels every day of the week in a world which does its best to deceive us into believing that everything is changing, and we have to keep up. Everything in our society calls us to rush hurriedly in different directions.
The frantic pace of life is a result of trying to live without a regular rhythm. This hectic way of life is not unique to our generation.
Pentecost was an adrenaline rush with three thousand souls converted. No doubt the small band of the twelve had their hands full for many weeks. They paused their evangelistic work to provide pastoral care to these new believers. First, they had to clear away all their pagan notions and concepts. Then, they began to teach them all about Jesus, His character and His ways.
The lesson for us is this, if we are going to succeed at the work of reaching and caring for the souls of others, we need a regular rhythm. Without rhythm, we will surely burnout.
The spiritual lives of the thousands that had crowded into the door Peter had opened were now looking for direction. Living in contact with others is messy. Service requires the best our soul has to offer. It’s tough, trying, and tireless work, but the rewards are rich.
Jesus knew the importance of rest. After times of intense ministry, He would seek solitude to be with His heavenly Father in thought and reflection. Over-activity, even in the most spiritual matters, is an enemy of the heart. The Spirit is nourished most during times of rest. Falls and scandals happen because of weariness. We have to make time for replenishment, because without it, all our efforts will be fruitless.
The disciples never intended to live isolated, in a contemplative state. They used rest and contemplation, but they did not abuse it. They remembered the words of Jesus, “you are the salt of the earth,” and salt must be applied. When their vigor and power were restored, they returned to continue to serve.
It’s the rhythm that keeps us in step with the call of God. We RUN HARD Monday through Saturday. We REST UP on Sunday, our soul worships and our heart listens. And then, we RETURN READY.