(Mark 6:30-32 HCSB) 30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to Him all that they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest for a while.” For many people were coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. 32 So they went away in the boat by themselves to a remote place…
Life is busy. Very busy. Mark 6 records a season of faced-paced transition. Jesus commissioned the disciples, John the Baptist was martyred, crowds were following the disciples asking for prayer; healings were common, demons were cast out, and people were rejoicing over the wonderful works being done in their lives. The disciples were involved in all aspects of the ministry. Jesus trusted them to do his bidding, and they were working hard to spread the positive message of Christ. They were moving at a frenetic pace.
When they reunited with Jesus, he must have recognized their fatigue. He invited them to come away from the crowd in order to replenish their strength and spiritual energy. He encouraged them to rest for a while. Mark records, “they did not even have time to eat.” At the suggestion of Jesus, “they went away in the boat by themselves to a remote place…”
Consider these important observations.
- Spiritual activity can be exhausting! I’m reminded of the Brownsville Revival phenomenom of a few years back. People traveled from all over the world to visit this powerful move of God. Yet, as the revival continued, many of those involved in the logistics of the meeting became weary. Families were negatively impacted by the immense investment of time required to produce such an extended event. It is possible to over extend our energies even when doing good things.
- Need never ends. There are times when the needs of the people must become the priority. Before Jesus and the disciples were able to rest they had to feed 5000 people, not counting the women and children. Every day has the potential to produce multiple opportunities to meet needs. Our human minds and bodies are not made for constant activity, especially when it comes to bearing the burdens of others. Even though it goes against our desire to help others, we cannot constantly be on call.
- Rest is essential. Our human minds and bodies are designed to work at their full potential when they are rested. Fatigue prevents us from thinking clearly, working diligently, and caring deeply. Jesus knew that! He often withdrew from the crowds to replenish his body and spirit. Prayer, sleep, nutrition, and relaxation are all vital elements to holistic living.
- Self-realization is important. In this instance, Jesus realized the energy level of the disciples and the need for them to take some personal time. It was He who called them aside for quiet time. With that said, no one knows you as well as you do! I know when I’m tired. I can sense when my mind is not functioning properly because of fatigue. Guilt is unproductive when rest is needed. We should not feel bad about needing to get away. Balance is the key.
What about you? Are you tired? Have you been trying to do too much? Have you over extended yourself on behalf of others? If so, take the necessary steps to correct it. Get some rest. Take a nap. Have a good meal. Treat yourself to some ice cream. Pet your cat! Take a chill pill! It will be good for you, and it will extend your ability to be effective.
PRAYER: Thank you Lord for rest! Help me to take full advantage of the opportunities to replenish my spirit, soul, and body so I can always be at my best for you! Amen.