Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves. Mark 6:30-32
Like the Apostles, we are fulfilled when we do the work of the Kingdom. They gathered to Jesus to tell Him all about the things they had done and what they taught. Their joy and passion seemed justified, and yet Jesus called them to rest. They served so many who were coming and going that they did not have time to eat. Can you relate to this? I know I can.
In spite of the enthusiasm and success the Apostles were experiencing, Jesus instructs them to “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” He was more interested in their physical and mental health than the short term success they delighted in. The Lord Jesus has an eternal blessing for you and me, so He has always been, and always will be mindful of our wellbeing. We cannot serve the LORD with gladness if we are worn down physically and mentally.
During a recent conversation with Dr. Gillian Grannum, she pointed out that GOD gave Elijah simple instructions when he was despondent and depressed — But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. [1 Kings 19:4-5] As Dr. Grannum pointed out, rest and nourishment are essential for physical and mental wellness. So the prophet slept, ate and drank, in order to be energized for the journey to which he was sent. Is the Lord Jesus calling you to rest a while? Getting the proper nutrition and rest can enhance our physical and mental health alike.
Our love for God and the ministry we have been called to carry out, can at times cause us to neglect ourselves, unless we are intentional about setting aside time to be alone with the Lord so that we can rest a while. Jesus modeled this behavior for us as we see in Matthew 14:23 — And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.
The Lord is calling us into a deserted place by ourselves to rest a while. A hidden blessing of the pandemic is that we get to be alone more than when our busy schedule dictated how we spent our days. I sense the LORD speaking to us through the prophet Isaiah saying — Come, my people, enter your chambers, And shut your doors behind you; Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, Until the indignation is past.
During a period of time where Zoom and other platforms are causing burnout, due to excessive use. My prayer for you today is that you will rest a while.