When they asked him to spend more time with them, he declined. (Acts 18:20)
Growing up as an MK (missionary kid), I knew the drill: every few years we’d pack and fly back from our host country to America to rest and reconnect with family and supporters. No matter how well or badly things were going, no matter how many friends or ministry opportunities we had, a time came to say goodbye and head for our homeland. It was for our own good; missionaries who never took a break would end up broken down by burnout.
In Acts 18, Paul sensed that it was time to finish up his second term as a missionary. He’d taken the gospel from Antioch in Syria clear across to Macedonia and Greece in Europe, facing opposition all the way (see Acts 15:35—18:17). Then he headed home. He left behind his converts, his coworkers Priscilla and Aquila, his new ministry opportunity in Ephesus—and even his hair (see Acts 18:18–21)! He had to rest and to reconnect with the mother church in Jerusalem and his sending church in Antioch.
It’s not only missionaries and apostles who need breaks. Today is Tuesday, the day of the week my former pastor would take as his Sabbath after a hectic Sunday and mopping-up Monday. Church volunteers need time to recharge too. And each of us should pause daily to pray and to reconnect with God. Better to take breaks than risk breakdown.
Make time to rest and to reconnect spiritually.
Jerome Van Kuiken is a missionary kid, a pastor’s kid, and dean of the School of Ministry and Christian Thought at Oklahoma Wesleyan University.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.