Rest

“And He said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.” Mark 6:31

In our fast-paced and demanding world, tending to our mental health has become increasingly important. Rest, recreation, and relaxation are key elements in maintaining a balanced and flourishing mind. Drawing inspiration from sacred Scriptures, we can uncover profound insights on the transformative impact of these practices on our mental well-being. Scriptures guide us towards embracing rest, recreation, and relaxation as essential components of nurturing our mental health.

1. Restoring Strength through Rest

Psalm 23:2-3a beautifully illustrates the restorative power of God: “He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters. He refreshes my soul.” God understands our need for rest and provides opportunities for rejuvenation. By allowing ourselves dedicated times of rest, we replenish our energy, enhance mental clarity, and cultivate emotional resilience. Through rest, we open ourselves to God’s renewing touch, finding solace and strength in His presence.

2. Delight and Joy in Recreation

Ecclesiastes 3:13 reminds us, “And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.” Recreation offers us an opportunity to find satisfaction, joy, and delight in the midst of our work. Engaging in activities that bring us pleasure and fulfillment contributes to our mental health. Whether it’s pursuing hobbies, spending time with loved ones, or appreciating nature, recreation nourishes our souls, fostering a sense of well-being and gratitude.

3. Embracing Stillness and Relaxation

In Psalm 46:10, we are called to “Be still, and know that I am God…” This verse reminds us of the importance of embracing moments of stillness and quietude. In the midst of life’s demands and anxieties, intentional relaxation becomes an act of surrender and trust in God’s providence. Practices such as prayer, deep breathing, and meditating on God’s creation, blessings, and mercies allows us to quiet our minds, release tension and a sense of self-dependence and to connect to God’s goodness. Through relaxation, we discover a sense of peace that permeates our being, promoting mental and emotional well-being.

4. Balancing Busyness with Sabbath Rest

In Mark 6:31, NIV, Jesus tells His disciples, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” He understood the importance of balance and the need for intentional rest and not to neglect this. However, God also gave us a special day of rest every week, that He calls the Sabbath day. This special day of God’s rest is introduced in Genesis 2:2, 3 and found in His law in Exodus 20:8-11. Resting on God’s Sabbath rest day allows us to step away from the busyness of life, to set aside intentional time for worship, healing, reflection, and gratitude. It is also a time to prioritize our mental health by focusing on His goodness, filling our cups with His, connecting with others, and realigning our priorities in light of God’s Word.

Conclusion

Scripture provides us with profound insights into the transformative power of rest, God’s Sabbath, recreation, and relaxation in nurturing our mental health. By heeding the wisdom found in God’s Word, we learn to prioritize rest as a means of restoration, embrace recreation as a source of joy, cultivate relaxation, and spending time with Him on His Sabbath day as a pathway to peace. As we integrate these practices into our lives, we embark on a journey of wholistic well-being, honoring God’s design for our minds, bodies, and spirits. May we find strength, joy, and tranquility as we seek to care for our mental health in accordance with the wisdom of scripture.