The Lesson of the Tree (Mark 6:31)

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Some Christians think that inactivity is a waste of time. They feel that they must be busy every moment to merit Christ’s approval. They see the occasional lulls that come into life as being unproductive. But that is not necessarily the case. Notice what Christ did for His disciples after they had finished a strenuous period of evangelistic activity. He led them into the wilderness to rest so they could be restored for further service.

From nature we can learn a lesson about the importance of rest. Built into the life of every tree are stages of dormancy. In his book As a Tree Grows, W. Phillip Keller points out that in northern climates the dormant phase is in the winter, and in the tropical regions it is during the hot, dry season. “It is important to understand,” says Keller, “that dormancy is not death. A tree may appear to be dead, it is true. The leaves of deciduous trees will be all stripped off in the fall, leaving a stark skeleton. The tree is nevertheless very much alive – but at rest.” He added that this dormancy is immediately followed by a period of active growth. The dormant phase is a rebuilding and reconditioning for the upsurge of vigorous activity ahead.

Perhaps you are in one of those dormant periods in your Christian life, and you are troubled by the inactivity. Learn the lesson of the tree and welcome the rest that is offered to you. A time of productive activity for the Lord is sure to follow. – David C. Egner

Amid the hurry of life’s pace

We long to give the Lord our best;

That’s why sometimes we’re laid aside

For restoration and for rest. – D. J. De Haan

Time in Christ’s service requires time out for renewal.

  • November 21, 1986, Our Daily Bread

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