I find it fascinating to consider the moon’s gravitational force pull on our great oceans, which exerts influence and creates high and low tides. At the changing of the tides, there is a brief period of time called “slack tide” when the water is neither high nor low. According to scientists, this is when the water is completely “unstressed” – therefore no movement either way in the tidal stream. It is a quiet pause before the surging of tidal flow begins again. (Excerpt from Encyclopedia and Daily Bread Devotional Book).
On our real life stories, we may also have high tide and low tide seasons. Sometimes in our busy schedules, we may feel pulled in different directions by competing responsibilities. We might feel overly stressed and overwhelmed with the whole lot of duties, tasks and things to do. But wait! Even the Twelve disciples had gone through these experiences. In Jesus’ ministry, we see how God understood the demands made on His followers and the need for rest as well. Let me bring you to a passage when the disciples are returning from a traveling ministry in teams of two who reported the wonderful things that God had done through them.
Mark 6:7-13; 30-32 The Message (MSG)
7-8 Jesus called the Twelve to him, and sent them out in pairs. He gave them authority and power to deal with the evil opposition. He sent them off with these instructions: 8-9 “Don’t think you need a lot of extra equipment for this. You are the equipment. No special appeals for funds. Keep it simple. 10 “And no luxury inns. Get a modest place and be content there until you leave. 11 “If you’re not welcomed, not listened to, quietly withdraw. Don’t make a scene. Shrug your shoulders and be on your way.” 12-13 Then they were on the road. They preached with joyful urgency that life can be radically different; right and left they sent the demons packing; they brought wellness to the sick, anointing their bodies, healing their spirits.
30-31 The apostles then rendezvoused with Jesus and reported on all that they had done and taught. Jesus said, “Come off by yourselves; let’s take a break and get a little rest.” For there was constant coming and going. They didn’t even have time to eat. 32-34 So they got in the boat and went off to a remote place by themselves.
The Twelve disciples were full of passion for doing tasks given to them. But when they got back and reported those praise reports, Jesus responded to them to take a rest:
v. 31 “Come off by yourselves; let’s take a break and get a little rest.” For there was constant coming and going.t
Jesus was right! There was a constant coming and going during that time. They kept on sharing the Word, they fed 5,000 people at that time, and they continually went to different places to share the gospel. And as I relate it to our real life, there will also be a constant coming and going – not just literally “coming” and “going” to a certain place, but it terms of tasks – unstoppable duties and responsibilities in our daily lives. It’s not just church’s ministry, it could also be responsibilities in our family, work, or anything else. But what God is telling you now, is that you take a PAUSE – REST – SELAH so that we could do more and be productive. I’m not saying that you really stop living your life, but just to take a few time with yourself and time alone with God. Spending quiet time with God could bring rest physically, peace of mind, and unspeakable joy in our soul. What more could we ask for? Jesus Christ will always be more than enough for us! So, what responsibilities are pulling on you today? Whatever it might be, may we all find the slack tides in our lives, because it is certainly acceptable to plan some rest and relaxation time to rejuvenate your body and soul for a more fruitful service to others. Jesus advised it, and we know that we all need it.