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Read |Mark 6: 30 - 31|
The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6: 30 - 31).
The apostles have returned to give an account of their labor as His ambassadors to the world. (Mark 6: 7 - 13). They eagerly tell Him of what they have done and taught. But, they do not do so unencumbered, for there are many people gathered to see Jesus. So many, that they do not even have a chance to take care of the basic life activity of eating. Jesus, observing all this says, '"Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.'' (Mark 6: 31). He has offered them a solution to their weariness, from which we may receive guidance.
Step 1: Come to a Quiet Place
Coming implies arriving at another destination by first leaving one's current placement. The apostles were instructed to leave the bustling crowd so that they could arrive at a different place--a place conducive to rest. Jesus gives character to this place by describing it as quiet. It is the quiet place that encourages rest.
Beloved, when you survey your life, where is there constant bustling? Where is your life characterized by a busyness that encroaches on your ability to engage in basic life activities, live on purpose and or experience joy?
Sometimes it can be difficult to pinpoint these areas because our culture, and even the Church, incentivizes constant activity with public accolades and the promise of eternal reward. But busyness is not in the vocabulary of heaven. It is a worldly invention that seeks to steal our health, kill our purpose and destroy our joy. We must first identify these places and then, by His help, forsake them for a quiet place.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of rest. Thank you for inviting me to enjoy this gift. Father, open my eyes to see all the bustling and busyness that have taken residence in my life. Search my heart and know my ways. Make a mockery of the lies I have believed that seek to ground me in a constant cycle of busyness. Replace them with your truth that reminds me that you have already given me the seal of approval in Jesus Christ and that frees me to enjoy your gift of rest, daily. In Jesus's name. Amen.
Step 2: Come with Me
Jesus's remedy for weariness requires our leaving the bustle for a quiet place. But, He does not call us to do so alone. Instead, He calls us to come with Him to a quiet place, because simply being in the absence of demands or in the midst of quiet cannot give us true rest. In order for our souls to find rest, they must be with Jesus. They must be found doing the work of God, i.e. believing (relying wholly) on the Son for our provision mind, body and spirit. (John 6: 29). When we leave the bustle, we must do so with His help and to enter, more fully, His presence.
Beloved, what is your pattern when overwhelmed by busyness? Do you run from the demands or to God? Do you seek escape or deeper fellowship?
Sometimes when we are overwhelmed we enter survival mode, hoarding our time even from the One who has gifted it to us. We come home after a long day at work and, feeling sleep gain the victory, assert our strength by claiming the final minutes of our wakefulness to watch Netflix or engage in some other escape. In moments like these, we count the instruction to fix our minds on Jesus, too demanding. And if we are truthful, the shame of turning a deaf ear to His invitation robs us of any enjoyment our escape promised.
Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for running from the pressures of the world, when you have freed me to run to you. Thank you for the joyful expectation you have given me on account of your promise to always receive me. (1 John 1: 9). Thank you for your invitation to receive me in my weariness. Thank you for your promise to give me rest. (Matthew 11: 28). Help me to, with boldness, seek your help in my time of need. In Jesus's name. Amen.
Step 3: Come with Me by Yourselves
Jesus's direction includes a very interesting phrase. He says, '"Come with me by yourselves."'(Mark 6: 31). It is interesting because it is hinting at the need for the apostles to experience a measure of solitude, but yet giving way for it to be done in the company of others who share your cup or are called to do life with you.
Beloved, who has God placed on this life's road with you? Who has He gifted you to help carry your burden?
Sometimes when the pressure is on we can forget that we are not in this thing called life alone.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of community. Thank you for placing us in a forever family at the point of our adoption as your children. (Ephesians 2: 19). Father, we thank you for the gift of godly friendships (those to come and those already manifest). Teach us to bear one another's burdens and live in love. (Galatians 6: 2). In Jesus's name. Amen.
This week, make an appointment to go away with Jesus to a quiet place, alone or in the company of others who lovingly share your burdens, so that you may rest.
Carolyn Sinclair McCalla is an educator, Christian education youth coordinator, author, singer, workshop and retreat leader, speaker and founder and president of EarthBasic. However, she is first and foremost a daughter of God, with a passion for encouraging women to embrace the fullness of God's love for them in Jesus Christ. You can connect with Carolyn on facebook, Instagram and here.