“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing….Appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. Rejoice always;pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 11-18
Yesterday afternoon Brad got home from leading a 3 day trip (Friday-Saturday) with more than 30 kids and adults serving as Work Crew at an overnight camp. When he got back he hit the ground running again, and he’s been busy all day today getting ready for another Club at the coffee shop tonight. Late nights, early mornings, travel, meetings, kids, football, cross-country, tutoring, fund-raisers, training, Bible studies, grad classes, rehearsals, church. The kids and I feel it too, this non-stop pace of ministry. We race through autumn at break-neck speed, and I miss the slower days of summer. I’m sure many of you face similarly busy schedules, full of deadlines, pressures, needs, relationships, and fatigue.
How does one make it through day after day, week after week, month after month at this rate? I love the scripture passage above from 1 Thessalonians. There are some key words in there–encourage, appreciate, esteem, live in peace, help, be patient, seek the good, rejoice, pray, give thanks. We can do a lot to help and encourage one another as we labor side by side. However, one thing I often overlook is that little phrase: “pray without ceasing.”
As you go about your busy day today, swamped with commitments and deadlines and other stress-inducing situations, I encourage you to pray. I promise it won’t take any time away from your jam-packed day, and in fact, it will probably make you feel better. Pray for the people who break your heart, the things that are keeping you up at night, the children that drive you crazy, the budget that just won’t balance, the boss you just can’t please, the annoying neighbors next door, the engine light in your car, and the endless list of things you need to get done. Pray without ceasing. God is bigger than your problems, and he can handle your burdens. He will give you rest.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30