“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 6:31 (NIV)
He was an abrasive personality and I quickly learned to avoid him as much as possible. Early in our relationship I mentioned that I was looking forward to a Florida holiday. He quickly retorted that Satan takes no holidays. I wanted to comment that he seemed very familiar with the devil’s activities. Instead, I commented that Satan was not my role model, rather Jesus was. Today’s verse silenced the clever but mistaken critic.
Our Creator programmed humanity to need regular times of rest including the weekly cycle of Sunday. We also need further times of rest just as Jesus and the disciples did as indicated in our verse. We need to monitor our health in such a way that we give our bodies time to recuperate from illness and particularly busy times in life.
Recently I had a case of pneumonia and my body demanded rest. I had no choice but to yield and sleep longer hours daily than usual. Sometimes our bodies know best!
Have you been too busy recently? If so, you may need to listen to your body and do what Jesus and the disciples did that day and come apart before you come apart. Too little rest and stress can weaken our immune system and make us susceptible to illness. Also, we may find ourselves impatient with others when we are not well rested. Further, we may become spiritually lethargic.
So, from the order in creation of a day of rest in seven, from Jesus’ example of resting when weary, and from solid medical advice, we recognize the need for rest for several reasons. Assess your personal need for regular and special seasons of rest and today thankfully plan to take the needed time to refresh your body, mind and soul.
Safely through another week
God has brought us on our way;
let us now a blessing seek,
waiting in his courts today;
day of all the week the best,
emblem of eternal rest.
While we pray for pard’ning grace
through the dear Redeemer’s name,
show thy reconciled face;
take away our sin and shame;
from our earthly cares set free,
may we rest this day in thee.
Here we come thy name to praise;
let us feel thy presence near;
may thy glory meet our eyes
while we in thy house appear;
here afford us, Lord, a taste
of our everlasting feast.
May thy gospel’s joyful sound
conquer sinners, comfort saints;
may the fruits of grace abound,
bring relief for all complaints;
thus may all our Sabbaths prove,
’til we join the church above.
– John Newton