Vacations—God is pleased when families and individuals take time for relaxation and rest. The time factor can vary. But we do need those times when we can be refreshed in body, soul, and spirit. It is during these vacation times that we gain a fresh appreciation for home and work.
Vacations can be quality times for the family
While the children are still home, I believe God wants parents to include their children in holidays. Some parents go off leaving the kids behind—and they feel left out. The summer holidays can be fun times for the whole family.
I remember when our children were younger and all at home. We had some great times as we travelled and camped each summer. It was exciting to get away from school, work, and the garden. It was the change we all needed—and that’s what vacations are all about.
Our vacation usually began quite early on the first day so that we could arrive early and pick that “perfect” campsite! The closer to the water the better.
We would put up our tent trailer, fix the beds for the evening, swat flies and mosquitos, get the camp stove going, and the open-air supper cooking! Most important of all—build that campfire—mainly to watch and enjoy, but sometimes roasting weiners or marshmallows over it.
These were special times of fun for us as parents and the children to experience—and to remember. They are important in building lasting family ties and relationships.
Vacations can help to relieve built-up pressures
It was Jesus who felt that His disciples needed a break. They had been out ministering to the needs of others, and they were feeling the pressure of having people around them continuously. we read the account in Mark…
“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. And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.”Mark 6:31-32 KJV
Now we realize from the rest of the scripture, that they never had much of a vacation. The people seeking after Christ soon discovered their safe retreat. But at least they had had a private boat cruise with Jesus—and that must have been refreshing in itself. The Lord knows when His children need a break—it’s a necessary part of the Christian’s life.
Vacations can be excellent for fellowship with other Christians
Christians certainly need this. We need to go to places where we can spend at least some time with others of like precious faith. One of these places can be at a Christian camp where we can relax—at the same time enjoying sound Bible worship and ministry and fellowship with other believers.
I’m reminded of Paul’s two-week vacation in Jerusalem. It’s mentioned in Galations 1:18-19. Paul came to Jerusalem to visit and fellowship with Peter and James, the half-brother of our Lord.
He seems to have been alone, learning from the Lord for the first few years following his conversion. But now he felt the need for fellowship. Following this time together—no doubt Paul returned home refreshed and encouraged in the Lord. We need vacations like this too—don’t we?
Vacations can be times when people meet God
I remember hearing of a man who was holidaying in the Caribbean and returned a born-again Christian. This reminds us of the important businessman from Ethiopia who made a trip to Jerusalem to worship. He was stirred to read the scripture and he began his journey homeward. The story is found in Acts 8:27-39.
This man was reading from Isaiah the prophet but he didn’t understand who the prophet was talking about. The Lord saw his spiritual hunger and had arranged for Philip the evangelist to be at that spot at that given moment.
Prompted by the Spirit, Philip came near the man’s chariot and when invited to join him in his chariot began at the Scripture he was reading from and “preached unto him, Jesus.” He was gloriously saved and made this wonderful confession of faith—”I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Following his baptism in water, he went home rejoicing in the mercy, grace, and power of Christ, man’s only saviour.
What a vacation he experience! What a worthwhile time away from home. He returned home a new man in Christ. Praise God!
Vacations can be times of renewed commitment to serve the Lord
Our vacation days are not only a time for bodily rest and mental change, but also a time when we can be renewed spiritually.
Always take your Bible with you. Maintain your daily habit of reading the scriptures and prayer. Seek out a place of worship. I thoroughly enjoy going to church in a strange town or city. I enjoy listening to teachers and preachers who bring sound Bible ministry.
All this can be an aspect of waiting on the Lord and renewing our strength (Isaiah 40:31), as well as renewing our commitment to serve Him.
Thank God for vacations
God wants us to have days of rest from our labours. I believe He wants us to enjoy these times. I’m reminded of what we read in the book of Hebrews…
“There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.”Hebrews 4:9 KJV
I think this “rest” refers to the rest in the heart that comes as the result of a faith that is deeply rooted in God and from a life that is totally committed to Him.
Your vacation may be the time when you readjust your priorities and let the Lord rule from your heart. When He’s in control—that means rest for us.
Vacation time is coming. make the most of it. Arrive back home ready to accept new challenges. Love those vacations!
Written by George Shaw—End Times Messenger July/August 1990
One reply on “Love Those Vacations”
Always interesting and challenging to read Bro George Shaws material. Good to see the emphasis on the spiritual side of vacations involving Christian camps. Israel was called to gathering “in mass” 3 times a year too. My father in law, Rev Ken Stevenson [deceased member of ACOP] used to say: You have to come apart – before you come apart! He used to try writing out by hand one of the gospels or one of Paul’s letters in a scribbler like the youth use in high school. He maybe not have finished as he liked to write his thoughts in between the verses too, but he always felt enriched to have had time to read and write (he was a meat cutter as well as pastor). I know the blessings of taking our family to “camps” too, our daughter got baptized at Trossachs Camp and my wife gave her heart to Jesus at Trossachs camp too. My mother and I both received the baptism of tongues and fire at the same camp, though many years separated those two experiences. Vacations and a Touch from/Encounters with God should definitely be part of our vacation plans, especially if you are part of ACOP. There are numerous camp where you can take your tent or trailer, your Bible and sheets and mosquito spray, just to get apart with God for a few days each year! Usually there are great Bible teachers invited teaching the Word too. Camps have marked moments of great change in my life for sure. Mountain top experiences. David Sheppard