This week’s devotions are based on Week 5 of the Series “Fresh Start” – I Meet New People! (WATCH HERE)
Mark 1:35-37 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 36 Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”
After a full day teaching in the synagogue, healing Simon’s mother-in-law and then taking on the diseases and demons of the town, Jesus needed rest. He slept to physically recharge and then before everyone got up he went and found a quiet place to spend time with his Father in prayer. Jesus knew the importance of recharging physically and spiritually. Without the time alone, time in prayer, and time to sleep he knew that he would not be able to love and serve the people around him.
The same is true for us. Introvert or extrovert, when we are around people and seeking to care for them, we need time for rest, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. If we don’t, we run into trouble. Psychologists have noticed a challenge for people who forget or don’t take time to care for themselves. It’s called “compassion fatigue.”
“…compassion fatigue refers to the experience of any empathetic individual who is acutely conscious of societal needs but feels helpless to solve them. People who actively engage in charity, or volunteering, may come to feel that they cannot commit any more energy, time, or money to the plight of others because they feel overwhelmed or paralyzed by pleas for support and that the world’s challenges are never-ending.
Symptoms of compassion fatigue can include exhaustion, disrupted sleep, anxiety, headaches, stomach upset, irritability, numbness, a decreased sense of purpose, emotional disconnection, self-contempt, and difficulties with personal relationships.” (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/compassion-fatigue)
Before psychologists observed and documented “compassion fatigue”, God knew and Jesus reinforced and modeled the need for spiritual and physical rest. God built it into the rhythm of the week by resting himself on the seventh day of the world’s existence and directing his people to follow that pattern:
Exodus 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Jesus, who was the fulfillment of the Sabbath Day invited, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30).
To better be able to love, care, and invest in people, make sure to take time to love, care, and invest in yourself by spending time in prayer to your heavenly Father and in the words of your Savior Jesus.
Apply: How can you rest spiritually and physically?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for investing your life in caring for people and securing our salvation. Along the way you also taught and modeled the example of taking time to rest physically and spiritually so we can have the energy and strength of faith to invest in others’ lives. AMEN.