Day 1: Overview
As we engage in ministry, we often look to the life of Jesus as our model of how to draw close to the Father and give our lives to loving and serving others. But one thing we often overlook is how Jesus also modeled rest. He always found moments in his ministry to escape the crowds and prioritize stillness. Renewal of our body is dependent on this. Focusing on our absence, release, and refrain from doing can be challenging in a world of to-do lists, multitasking, and burnout. Renewing our body is dependent on intentionally making space for physical rest.
Renewing our bodies isn’t just crucial for today; the state of our physical bodies plays a large part in determining the future of our ministries as well. Rest directly impacts our mental health, immune system, mood, happiness, energy, longevity, etc.
One of the primary ways God built rest into the cadence of the earth was when he established the Sabbath. This is your weekly permission, set from the beginning, to stop what you are doing and to rest. Today, this is becoming harder and harder to practice. Businesses are open on Sundays. Maybe you lead or volunteer at church on Sunday. We work, run errands, plan, and clean, and quickly, the day becomes full.
Another way God built in rest is with night. The sun going down and darkness overcoming the earth is a daily opportunity to slow down, stop working, and, most importantly—sleep.
Renewal is a continual process we must engage in regularly—day by day, week by week. Our bodies depend on it to restore our energy, renew our strength, repair our bodies, and remind us that we are not God. As we begin a new year, take a moment to think and pray about how you can better renew your body in the coming months.
—Danielle Schmidt, Global Division