Stress chisels away, creating tiny cracks that, although barely visible to the eye, could cause us to shatter under the heat and pressures of everyday life.
"Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, 'Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.'" Mark 6:31 (NIV)
"I want honey in my tea! And a lemon slice too! Oh, and can I use great-grandma's teacup, pretty please? I'll be careful," my then-5-year-old daughter sweetly begged.
We were enjoying our afternoon mother-daughter ritual while her two baby brothers napped. Each day, we pulled out china teacups and saucers from my collection and slowly sipped herbal tea while I read a book out loud to her.
This afternoon, however, she was asking permission to use an heirloom piece that had been passed down through four generations in my mother's family. While I knew my baby girl was grown up enough to be careful with the antique pink and white china cradled in her little hands, something else made me deny her request. I tried explaining it to her.
"Sweetheart, I know you'll be careful, but we can't have hot tea in that cup. It has cracks. See?"
I showed her a few tiny, hairline fractures on the side near the handle. It wasn't cracked all the way through and could actually still hold water without leaking. However, if hot liquid were to be poured into it, the crack would give way, causing the petite cup to shatter. (Been there. Broke that!)
There was just no way for the fractured piece to withstand the stress of a steaming beverage.
Our emotional lives are much the same. When we do not allow time to rest and regroup from the stresses of life, we allow cracks in our spirit that make us emotionally and spiritually fragile. We keep going at break-neck speeds, rarely slowing down long enough to be refreshed.
Today's key verse highlights the fact that even Jesus Himself found it important to get away for a while; to slow down and cease activity. He urged His disciples to get to a quiet place. In doing so they would find rest. Being alone and quiet would help keep them whole.
In our fast-paced society we rarely get to sit in a quiet place. Televisions blare. Computers sound out webcasts. iPods and MP3s crank out music at times when we could be seeking solace.
As a result, stress chisels away, creating tiny cracks that although barely visible to the eye, could cause us to shatter under the heat and pressures of everyday life.
Let's purpose to take time this week to slow down, get away, and rest. To find solitude in a hushed and holy place alone with our Savior, even if only for an hour or two.
If we make time to answer Jesus' call to go away with Him to a quiet place, we can crack-proof our spirits, making them strong and rendering us ready to handle life. A few quiet moments spent with Him can help mend cracks, renewing and making us to be vessels strong enough to be used by Him.
Dear Lord, help me to intentionally carve out time this week to reconnect with You in a quiet spot. I know You are waiting. I want to seek Your face and find true rest. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
Remember a time when you got away for a time of rest and quiet. What did it do for you emotionally?
Why don't we get alone or seek a quiet place more often? List some things, people, or activities that prevent us from doing so. Now, make plans to seek a quiet time soon. Write it on your calendar and keep your appointment with God.
Matthew 7:25, "The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn't collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. (HCSB)