“Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while” (Mark 6:31)
How well do we rest? It seems that God understands that there is a deep, internal struggle within each person; they do not want to accept their limited capacity. We all agree that rest is good and important, but do we do it?
As the disciples return to Jesus after he sent them out to preach the message of the gospel it seems like things have got out of sync. Obviously they wanted to come back to Jesus and tell him everything that they had done and taught. Straight away we see an issue; they had not done anything. This was all the work of the Jesus. Often we fall for this trap, thinking that we have helped God out or that how we did things is what made something work in the building of the kingdom.
What we often fail to add together is the way this attitude marries itself to our lack of resting in God. When we think that the work of the kingdom depends on us (and we can all be guilty of this, more often than we would like to share) then we stumble down a road of failing to accept our humanness. Do you see this is what the disciples do? They were so busy that they didn’t stop to eat. Ok, sometimes life happens and we forget to eat but these are usually not normal circumstances. It seems like the disciples made it their pattern of ministry to appear super-human, forgetting the God ordained limits put into the way they are created.
Our desire is to see many of the peoples of East Asia know about the Lord Jesus and find life in his name, but this must not be at the expense of us resting in the Lord Jesus. It is a great temptation to think that because the end goal of our efforts is God honouring that somehow we get to bypass rest. Take the time to pray that God would remind all who have been sent by him to serve East Asian’s that it is not only good to rest but that it is glorifying to him.
Look at what Jesus says to the disciples; go somewhere desolate, get down time, because I have this all under control. Great ministry success, large crowds following them and Jesus says, don’t focus on that. We find out very quickly that Jesus is more than capable to serve all of the people who have been following them. Notice that it is only Jesus who gets off the boat and begins to teach the people. It is simple stuff, I know, but I often find that the simple stuff is often the easiest to forget. It is God’s kingdom and he has staked his name and his glory on the growth and establishment of his kingdom.