by Heather Tietz
The apostles gathered themselves together to Jesus, and they told him all things, whatever they had done, and whatever they had taught. He said to them, “You come apart into a deserted place, and rest awhile.” For there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.
In a previous passage (Mark 6:7), Jesus had sent His apostles off to help, heal, and preach His Good News.
Now they’ve returned exhausted.
Some bear the grief that their beloved teacher, John the Baptist, has been beheaded. Others are worn down from preaching, serving, hunger, and travel. Now they all come and tell their stories to the Master. Graciously, Jesus excuses them to get away from the crowds, from the demands of others, from actively loving, to a quiet, deserted place, where they can refill themselves.
God grew a tree for his worn out prophet Jonah, where he could rest in its shade.
God sent an angel to feed a fretful Elijah with cake and water and bid him to eat and sleep.
Shepherd David writes in the Psalms about how God leads him to peaceful places.
Even Jesus allowed Himself times away from the crowds. Are we stronger than our spiritual fathers? Is the modern day man built to run non-stop? Of course not. God knows that we need rest too - rest from fighting siblings, stressful work environments, homework, chores, quarreling family and needy neighbors.
You need rest from serving others. You need refilling. You need sitting in silence, absorbing God’s presence. Give your all, and then when you are done, get more from God.