I am generally a bloke who likes to get things done. Due to my massive lack of humility I usually believe that I can get things done! More than that I sometimes believe that I am the only person who will get it done. Maybe that I am the only person who will get it done well.
When it comes to Christian ministry this is a little bit lethal. Because "people following Christ for a life time" is not really a job that falls into the "getting done" category. It's not like mowing the lawn or painting the wall. If you go at Christian ministry with an "I can get this done" attitude then you will come unstuck, sooner or later!
Which is why I was encouraged by my reading in Leviticus this morning. The Lord commands his people to take every seventh year as a Sabbath year and not to plant crops that year. But to give themselves and the land a break. Now every sensible person is asking the same question: "What will we eat then?!" But the Lord anticipates their concern:
"You may ask, ‘What will we eat in the seventh year if we do not plant or harvest our crops?’ I will send you such a blessing in the sixth year that the land will yield enough for three years. While you plant during the eighth year, you will eat from the old crop and will continue to eat from it until the harvest of the ninth year comes in." (Leviticus 25:20-22)
In other words, "Trust me. I'll sort it out!"
It struck me that taking appropriate rest is about trusting that God has it in hand. That he is the gracious God who cares for and provides for his people. When I don't rest enough I am effectively saying to God, "I don't think you're capable of pulling this off without me." Even as I type that it sounds so stupid that I'm embarrassed! Or even worse, "I don't think you're loving enough towards your people to keep them without me."
So whilst I rejoice in the many opportunities that the Lord has given me to make Jesus known. And whilst I think that there is no greater privilege than gospel ministry. I also need to trust him enough to know that resting one day in seven isn't just wise, it's a statement of faith.