Exercise And Rest. 03/14/2014 (Evening thought)

Mark 6:30 And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.  31 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.

In this passage of scripture we see Jesus teaching us the principle of resting after strenuous physical activity. The disciples had been engaged in ministering to the people, teaching, healing, and attending to their various needs. This ministry was all done on foot and as a result required the exertion of a great amount of physical and mental energy. Jesus then instructed  his disciples to take a rest in a quiet place where they could be refreshed and re-energized to take up the physically daunting task of ministry once more.

This instruction coming from Jesus is full of practical meaning for us living in the twenty-first century, with our very busy schedules. As was stated previously, God is the one who instituted physical exercise for the benefit of man, but He also instituted the principle of rest too, for our bodies need appropriate time to recover from vigorous physical exercise. This truth is revealed over and over again in the scriptures so that we may receive instruction on the issues of exertion and recuperation. Let's read:

Genesis 28:10 And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.  11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.

Ecclesiastes 5:12 The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.

Also, in the experience of the prophet Elijah we see the same two issues of strenuous physical activity followed by rest, resurfacing again, for it is something we need to be cognizant of as it pertains to health and longevity. Let's read:

1st Kings 19:2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.  3 And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there.   (It was approximately ninety miles of running, jogging and walking) 

5 And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.

The Bible also speaks about the habit of staying up late, thereby depriving ourselves of necessary rest and recuperation. There are certain repairs to muscle tissue which only occur during restful sleep, that's why although the Lord ordained exercise as being essential to our health and well-being, yet He does not desire us to exert ourselves to the point of exhaustion without getting proper rest to recuperate. Let's read:

Psalms 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.

Ecclesiastes 8:16 When I applied mine heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done upon the earth: (for also there is that neither day nor night seeth sleep with his eyes:)

In our day with the pressures of life intruding into every aspect of our being, with constant deadlines to meet, and physically exhausting schedules, God is saying to us, "come ye apart by yourselves and rest a while". It is good and necessary to have frequent exercise but it is also essential that these activities be followed by appropriate rest. May God help us to make the necessary changes and adjustments where applicable. "Good night" and God bless!