How many of us have had accidents or illnesses and always say this couldn't have happened at a worse time, I got so much too do, or I got this going on, etc...I got news for us, accidents and illnesses don't check with out schedules first, they just happen for a lot of different reasons that we can't always explain or have the simple explanations we want.
The truth is, I think many times God has a way of slowing us down, or forcing us to take a break, or find rest because we are heading in, or going in a dangerous place. Stress. Burnout. Anger. Over-extending ourselves. Busyiness. Can't say No. Greedy. Avoider. There are lots of reasons we can think of why we stretch ourselves thin, overcommit ourselves, work too many hours, or neglect the important things in our lives. Many times we neglect our families, our physcial health, or mental or emotional health chasing promotions, an extra dollar, pat on the back, award, or God's favor and we only end up making things worse.
It really doesn't matter how much money you make, how many promotions you get, or how much you do for God, if you are sick, unhealthy, or neglecting rest, recreation, and relaxation. Preachers are notrious for two extremes, being lazy or being a work-a-holic, and the one who stays too busy constanting doing "church stuff" or "church activities" is not doing God favors by neglecting your family, your health, or well-being.
We are on a journey not a sprint. We also can gain the whole world and lose our soul(mark 8:36), and God is just as concerned about our mental, emotional, and physical health as he is our spiritual health, because they all are vital and important to our overall being.
This blog is not just for preachers today it's for all of us who over-extend ourselves and get so busy "doing life" that we never take time to slow down. Jesus warned Martha (Luke 10) about worrying and being busy, that she was missing what was important, Jesus being there with her and her sister Mary.
I have been forced this past week to slow down. I am stuck in my house unable to go out because I got Shingles and am contagious to those who have never had chicken-pox so I've been forced to slow down, stay home, and rest. Why is rest so important? It heals. It gives you time to reflect. It gives you time to de-stress. It gives you time to relax. God I believe forces us to slown down if we aren't willing to slow down ourselves. I am not suggesting God makes you sick and all that, but I am suggesting that God uses those natural consequences of us neglecting sleep, exercise, eating healthy, not balancing our work, play, and rest, or not taking time for ourselves or relationships to teach us the "hard way".
My encouragement for you today is if you get sick, or have an accident, or sugery that puts you out of commission for awhile, even if you don't feel well, take advantage of the time given you to simply rest your body, mind, and thoughts. Take time to pray, read, study, reflect, and some down time to enjoy some old movies, or a puzzle, or whatever relaxes you. Let God not only heal your physical ailments, but let God heal your mind, body, and soul.
Heed the warning signs of burnout, or being too busy, or doing too much with the wrong attitudes or motives, but if you also just sometimes have an accident or get sick and you aren't a workaholic or busybody, it doesn't matter, take advantage of the time you have to work on yourself to be the best you can be for God. Sometimes you gotta just slow down and find some rest in God like I having to do right now.
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.