Come Away Awhile and Rest

As I read Mark 6:30-33 today images of a ministry team full of excitement surrounding their much loved leader came to mind. Much like a group of children reporting to their grandparents about a family adventure or school children reporting what they saw on their fieldtrip to the zoo, the disciples surrounded Jesus, clamoring over one and another to share the details of their encounters with the powerful gospel that transforms lives. And what does Jesus do in response? Does he send them forth to do more ministry since the fields are ripe but the harvesters are few? No, he blesses them and calls them away to a time of retreat in the wilderness. He recognizes that the harvest is ripe and that if his pupils remain where they are they will not have space for rest, leisure, or physical nourishment. Jesus calls the disciples aside for a retreat in the wilderness. He not only cares for their ministries, but also cares for their individual spirits.

As ministers of the gospel today, it is important that we recognize that God cares for us as individuals apart from the ministry that we do. The harvest will still be there when we return from a time of rest and God in His delight over our passions for His work also delights in our leisure. Thus Jesus calls out to us even today, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.”

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