“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place
and get some rest.” Mark 6:31 (NIV)
I recall a Christian worker in conversation with several of us making the comment that he was weary and needed a good vacation. He said that he was really looking forward to a rest. One of the people listening was better at speaking than thinking. He responded to the tired Christian, “Satan never takes a holiday!”
The comment may have been well meaning but it was a silly suggestion. I tried to defend the worn out preacher by responding that we are not doing the devil’s work so how he conducts himself is not relevant. I further said that we needed to follow Jesus’ method of working and not Satan’s.
Our verse today came to mind as I reflected on that rather heartless comment to someone who was exhausted in his ministry. Jesus is to be our model for service to God.
At the time that Jesus told the disciples to come away with Him to a deserted place and rest they had been exceptionally busy. Jesus had sent them out on a missions trip (Mark 6:7) and they came back (Mark 6:30) to give Jesus the exciting report of their work.
Our Lord wisely sensed their exhaustion and accommodated the physical limitations they had. On four occasions Jesus withdrew with the apostles into a mountainous area for a time of refreshing (Mark 6:30-32; 7:24; 7:31; 8:13).
Should we not follow our Lord’s wise example and seek times of rest and relaxation for our weary spirits and bodies? Of course we should! There are various precedents recorded in Scripture where our Lord made provision for the disciples to recharge their batteries.
Those who have a summer cottage might think of a family in your church who do not have the financial ability to rent a place in the country and volunteer your facility to that family for a vacation. Perhaps you have a time share and could donate it one year for some people in need of a “quiet place to get some rest”.
You might change your schedule to assist a single parent by babysitting their children every other week for an evening so the parent might get a break. Or you might sponsor the children for a week of summer camp.
There are many ways we could touch a weary family and bless them from our own resources. Time off from the draining work of life is so important for all of us. Jesus saw the need for His disciples and met it. Can we see the need around us and do likewise? The next time you have a “time out” and come back home refreshed, think of someone who is in need of such a blessing and do something about it. In helping that person or family you are helping Jesus.