1Corinthians 6: 19-20 You should know that your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit who is in you.  You have received the Holy Spirit from God. So you do not belong to yourselves, because you were bought by God for a price. So honor God with your bodies.

I tend to view the need for rest as a weakness! In fact, I often feel guilty when trying to relax!  I keep thinking of all the important, spiritual things I could be doing!  God does not agree! In fact, rest and sleep are designed to be times when He can give to us!

Psalm 127:2 For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.

I wonder what eternal truths and blessings we miss when we refuse to rest! We don’t rest because our work is done!  We rest because God commanded it and created us with the need for rest!  The best time to rest is when you don’t have time to rest!  Taking time to rest is spiritual obedience. A busy life is not necessarily a productive life and fatigue is not one of the spiritual gifts!  Even Jesus did not do it all! When Jesus died, there were still sick and blind people, those in great need and many who did not yet believe in Him.  But on the cross He said, “It is finished!”  He did what He was supposed to do.

In the deep jungles of a tourist on safari hired local natives to carry his supplies.  On the first day they walked rapidly and covered a great distance because the tourist wanted to reach his destination as quickly as possible.  On the second morning, the natives refused to move, and simply sat quietly, resting.  The tourist was furious!  Upon demanding an explanation, one of the natives explained that they had gone too fast and too far the day before.  Now they must rest, allowing their souls to catch up.

Have you lost the joy of ministry?

Are you easily angered and often frustrated?

Is your life ordered around right priorities or urgent circumstances?

Are you physically exhausted?

When was the last time you just sat at His feet in silence and rested?

God is more interested in who we are than what we do!  To experience Godly success in ministry, we must learn the value of rest!

A personal note from Mary:  Thank you for your encouraging emails – from South Florida!  I am in the process of compiling email addresses in order to create an online support group specifically for women in ministry.  Want to join?  Let me hear from you!  Know that I love you and am praying for you this week as you minister.

Father God, we rest in the promise that You are enough – for every need, every valley and every storm.  Lord, many women are ready to quit!  Some are exhausted, discouraged and wounded while still others are absolutely desperate for You.  Help each one of us to understand that the darkness we feel is simply the shadow of Your wing.  And remind us to rest there. Amen!

Mary Southerland is a pastor's wife, mother of two teenagers, Co-founder of GIG (Girlfriends in God), author of Hope in the Midst of Depression, Sandpaper People, Escaping the Stress Trap and Experiencing God’s Power in Your Ministry (Harvest House)and conference speaker . She is also the founder of Journey Ministry , a teaching ministry dedicated to equipping every woman for her unique journey. Visit Mary's new website at www.MarySoutherland.com .

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