“Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an evil spirit came and fell at his feet.” Mark 7:25(NIV)
For the majority of us, we can’t wait for that time of the year to come around as we look forward to chilling out and enjoying our well-earned break after working hard for months. Whilst enjoying your break, I am sure that the last thing you want to think about is work. You will probably do your best to push it out of your mind so that you can totally relax and recharge your battery, for that is what holidays are about.
Well, going by our anchor passage, holiday and the attendant rest and recuperation were exactly what Jesus had in mind when He left for Tyre and Sidon. He had left the high pressure work of ministry in the core Jewish region where He had focused His ministry and had travelled incognito to a predominantly Gentile region. He thought He could use His anonymity to at least take some time off to rest and recuperate. He even ensured that no one would know that He was in the vicinity by taking every evasive security and counter-security measure available to shake off His persistent and overly committed admirers. Nevertheless, that attempted disappearing act, while it might have partially succeeded in putting people off, failed to stop a very desperate and determined woman who fortuitously had heard the rumour that He was in the area, to track him down and passionately implore Him to mercifully heal her demon-afflicted daughter. In spite of Jesus’ rather brusque treatment, her determined faith overcame His reluctance to minister to her need and caused Him to relent and heal her sick daughter.
Unlike Jesus, needy people may not have been knocking down your door in search of help. You may not have the challenge of the paparazzi vying to take your pictures or strangers desiring to talk shop when all you want to do is relax and enjoy yourself. Nevertheless, as you take your well-earned break from your assigned ministry – work, remember that your life is no longer your own. Jesus Christ paid for your sins with His own life. The bible says in 1 Cor 6:20 that “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” This means that you now belong, soul and body, to Him.
So, as you leisurely sip your pina colada or whatever it is that you like to drink or lie by the pool or however you like to spend your holiday, don’t be too reluctant to interrupt your rest for just a while, if and when required, to help meet the pressing need of someone God might bring across your path. Your responsive action might impact that person for life and eternity. Jesus Christ did it and so can you. Never allow the devil to furnish with you perfect excuses to fritter away God’s opportunities to minister to the needy and glorify His name through you.
Lord, help me to see beyond myself as I enjoy my holiday. Help me to see that the waiters, hotel staff and the different people who would serve me are people for whom you died. Help me to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and bring glory to your name. Amen.