I sent this photo to a couple of friends this week. Do you ever feel this way too? Details – so many details – from work, family, future decisions and just life in general. When I get feeling this way, I find that one of two things happens to me. I either get incredibly grumpy as I try to press through the details & responsibilities, and push harder and harder to get things done. Or, like my computer, I ‘seize up and freeze’, unable to process another task until I take the time to pause, breathe and quiet my soul as I ‘reboot’ my system. Out of these 2 choices, I must say that the second choice works much better than the first, although often I’m slow to choose that one.
In Mark 6, Jesus sent his disciples to go from town to town to share the good news of the Kingdom: “So the disciples went out, telling everyone they met to repent of their sins and turn to God. And they cast out many demons and healed many sick people, anointing them with olive oil.” (Mark 6:12-13)
Imagine for a moment, walking from town to town, constantly ministering to people – talking, healing, praying and casting out demons. This was a huge amount of work, and they weren’t always appreciated or accepted by the people they met. (As Jesus prepared them before their journey of what to do when a town rejected them!) When the disciples returned from their journey, they must have been exhausted – both physically and emotionally – as they handled so many responsibilities.
But Jesus knows our limits. He knows that it’s not good for us to have “too many tabs open” for a long time, so he tells his disciples in Mark 6:31 & 32: “Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat. So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone.”
Now, I wish I could tell you that they had a wonderful time away of quiet, rest and relaxation. But they quite likely didn’t. Mark continues to tell us in chapter 6, that the people saw them get into the boat, and ran ahead of them to meet them on the other shore when they arrived. (Insert deep sigh here). And Jesus, ever compassionate and loving, sees the people’s great need and continues to love and teach them right where they are at.
So what do I take away from all of this? Well first, it’s that plans don’t always go as expected. Interruptions will come and go, but to be a disciple of Jesus we need to handle these things with grace, kindness and love. And second, is that rest and quiet are still important, even if it doesn’t happen as originally planned. We are finite creatures who can’t do everything all the time. There’s countless verses in the Bible that encourage us to physically rest and to find that deep ‘soul rest’ as we get quiet and still, and draw near to Jesus.
Here’s just a few (of the many) verses in the Bible that speak of rest and/or being refreshed.
- “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” ~ Jeremiah 31:25
- “The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing. He lets me rest in grassy meadows; he leads me to restful waters; he keeps me alive.” ~Psalm 23:1-3
- “Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.” ~Matthew 11:28
- “Only in God do I find rest; my salvation comes from him.” ~Psalm 62:1
And one of my favourites is:
- “My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.” ~Psalm 27:8
Just a few announcements that I wanted to highlight for you.
We have been made aware of a Missions Opportunity to Ecuador for 2022! Check out the details in the Announcement Sheet.
Sunday School is back! Join us this Sunday at 9:30am, as we have classes for ALL ages. (Kids – all ages to Junior High, please meet downstairs in the Fellowship Room. High Schoolers and Adults please gather in the Sanctuary.)
You are welcome to join us this Sunday at 10:30am for our Worship Service. Rob Peterson will be with us sharing the message as well as leading us to the Lord’s Table. We continue to observe the Provincial Covid guidelines of 1/3 capacity in our building. Seats will be available on a first come, first seated basis. If you are unable to join us in person, feel free to check out our Livestream option, available HERE.