Text: Mark 4-6; Psalm 18:1-24.
In Mark 6, Jesus sends the twelve out, two by two. As I was reading this chapter, His words to the apostles following their return from their mission got may attention:
And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. (Mark 6:31).
My first reaction was to be reminded how important rest is for us all. But, when I doubled back and re-read the text, I discovered that their journey to a “desolate” place led them right to the great crowd where Jesus did the miracle with the five loaves and two fish. So – what happened to their rest? Actually, when they encountered the crowd, it was Jesus doing all the work. Jesus taught the people, and then He provided supper for all.
This has me rethinking my ideas about rest. A “desolate” place – where I am being left alone – often defines my idea of rest – a “getaway.” Then I see this story with fresh eyes. The point? For me, it is that, I do need to rest and to have some discipline about it. But when I do, I am still in the presence of Jesus, and He is still at work. Seems to me like “rest” means to rest in Him and let Him do the heavy lifting. To do that, I don’t even need a “day off” from my regular schedule.
in Him, Mike