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2. Balance between rest and activity.
For humans to engage in work is to experience pain. The fatigue of work is its pain. Only the lilies of the field neither “toil’ nor are in pain, because they have no anxiety. The Bible affirms that God, understanding the fatigue experienced by us, gives rest. Rest, theologically, is both needed by men and women in living, and has its source beyond them. Such rest is not merely a suspension of activity, but also signifies refreshment, and is to be seen as a corrective over and against the frenzied activism of much living. While in an ultimate sense ‘rest’ is an experience, relaxation and refreshment it is also part of God’s provision for all people. Such divine provision must be claimed by Christians making the choices necessary if they are to receive this portion of God’s gift of sustenance. Intentionality on the part of Christians is required.
Such biblical figures as Jeremiah, Jesus and Paul model for us the way a leader in a demanding ministry situation may still retain the initiative to call for ‘timeout’, and deliberately making opportunities for withdrawal from ministry with others to engage in prayer and adopt a quiet, contemplative disposition.
3. From weakness to power; from works to grace.
Whenever a Christian faces and accepts his or her inadequacies, limitations and frustrations, the way is open for a deep nourishment of spirit by the Spirit promised us. (‘For when I am weak, then I am strong’ – 2 Corinthians 12:10). Christians, as part of the community of the church, need to share with all their brothers and sisters in this life-sustaining dependency which in turn creates renewal and growth.
Rather than the fragility and humanity of the Christian being viewed in scripture in terms of negativity only (as obstacles to spiritual life and authentic living), they are depicted as aspects of God’s grace, as instruments of his action in and through the life of his servants. In this way, scripture encourages Christians to view the varied aspects of their personal vulnerability not as enemies that seek only to destroy effective living, but as allies which, if acknowledged and accepted, may be powerful agents of the Spirit of God, utterly alone and helplessness, which becomes the first step to the recovery of his confidence and hope.
In some cases, servant-children operate in daily life as though they do not stand under the gospel of the unconditional acceptance of them by God. It is often difficult for Christians to claim and live by grace.