Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, [Jesus] said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
Our Hero Knows We Need Rest
Every year, countless people buy planners to help them map out their days, weeks, and months. Whether it’s paper or digital, a planner helps to get us where we’re supposed to be, when we’re supposed to be there. One recent trend finds our daily planners with a section called “Self-Care” (or something similar). The designers recognize if you don’t pencil in a time for rest and refueling, you’re not going to be as effective in all your other tasks. Sometimes, you just need to rest.
Jesus understood that the constant stream of people demanding his time and the disciples’ time was going to take its toll on them, too. Yes, sharing God’s kingdom was their mission. But they couldn’t carry out that mission if they were exhausted, burnt out, or sick. So Jesus put a pause on the “demands” and penciled into their collective planner the gift of time.
We might say, “I sure wish Jesus would do that for me today.” But, of course, he does. It’s important for us to recognize those times when Jesus gifts us a Saturday morning with nothing to do or weekday evenings when the calendar is clear. Let’s embrace a week at the lake or a trip with the family for what they are: our God presenting us with the opportunity to get some rest.
But don’t forget that he invites us to get a little rest for our souls as well. Every Sunday morning, there’s a time for us to retreat from the world to a quiet place and get rest from the world in the sanctuary of a church. And every day, there’s a time to retreat to a quiet place and do the exact thing you’re doing right now—meditating on God’s Word! Jesus knows that we need rest. I pray that’s exactly what this time has been for you!
Dearest Jesus, you give me rest. You are my rest. Continue to graciously present me with little retreats to quiet places, that I may find the rest I need for my body and soul. Amen.