A friend came over last Friday to spend the long Easter weekend (Friday through Monday) with me, and speak at the church Sunday. Most of the time when friends come to visit I take them around Barrouallie to explain my burden for the people, and we get involved in daily ministry together.
But instead of a time of activity….
The Easter holiday was a time of rest
Those four days became an opportunity to encourage one another
- With rest
- Good food
- and lots of coffee!
Ministry has a way of wearing you down with spiritually, physically, and emotionally. This is why it’s necessary to take a break for rest and relaxation from time to time. Usually this calls for a place of refuge or reset where you can just be away from everyone else for a few days. For my friend that place of refuge was my house!
I used to question the importance of these breaks, after all there is still work to do! But then I realized it’s hard to minister when your exhausted.
In the past I used to go to America once a year for two-weeks every Christmas. This wasn’t an extended time away, but it allowed me to go through a time of rest and renewal. That usually involved being incredibly lazy for two or three days catching up on my rest, and then starting the work of strategic planning. By day ten I was refreshed, and ready to go back at it!
Of course not all of us can go to America…..
So we go to Barrouallie (the next best thing)!
During the weekend we went through the same basic cycle
- Drink Coffee
- Talk about life
I know that sounds incredibly boring and lazy, but for someone used to hustling from one ministry event to another, this is EXACTLY what they need!
The Greek New Testament has a word καταφεύγω (katapheugó) that we translate as “refuge” but is better translated “run to refuge.” The basic idea is a place where you can run for safety or rest. In the Christian life we all need to have a καταφεύγω to run to in times of stress or exhaustion. A place where we can refocus our eyes on the Savior, and draw closer to Him.
Last weekend reminded me how much my friend and I truly needed a time of rest. And it also reminded me there are countless men who need a refuge that offers food, coffee, rest, and encouragement from the Word of God. May the Lord help me keep my door open for those who long for a refuge.