The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place (Mark 6:30-32 NIV).
Sounds like us, doesn't it? We go live our lives and come together from time to time and "report all that we have done." We stay so busy sometimes we don't even have a chance to eat. Jesus would probably say the same thing to us that He said to His disciples: "Come with me to a quiet place and get some rest."
We need rest. We seem to have made being tired a fine art. We know how to wear ourselves out. Without meaning to we seem to be living life at such a pace that leaves very little time for physical rest, and almost no time for the soul rest that Jesus was encouraging. It appears to be one of the characteristics of our age and our culture. We almost celebrate and take pride in being tired.
We go on elaborate and expensive vacations hoping to find rest, only to come home wishing we had another week to recover from our vacation. We work hard day and night. We are sleep deprived, stressed-out, tensed-up, drained and thinking that we'll eventually get to a place in life where we can stop the madness and rest. But it seldom comes. "Come with me to a quiet place and get some rest." With those words Jesus revealed that He knew his disciples then very well. Our tired faces, weary bodies, and worn-out spirits reveal that He knows us just as well.
David speaks of finding rest:
Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.How long will you assault me? Would all of you throw me down — this leaning wall, this tottering fence? Surely they intend to topple me from my lofty place; they take delight in lies. With their mouths they bless, but in their hearts they curse.Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.Surely the lowborn are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie. If weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath. Do not trust in extortion or put vain hope in stolen goods; though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them.One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: "Power belongs to you, God, and with you, Lord, is unfailing love"; and, "You reward everyone according to what they have done" (Psalm 62:1-12 NIV).
In another place in the gospels Jesus reminds us that He knows we need rest. At that time Jesus said:
I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matthew 11:24-30 NIV).
Three simple and important messages emerge from these passages.
Real rest comes only from God.
Jesus said, "I will give you rest." The Psalmist said: "Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him." "Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him." We may search for it in other things and in other places, but real rest ... real refreshment of the soul ... comes from God.
God is able to handle our load.
The Psalmist said, "Power belongs to you, God, and with you, Lord, is unfailing love." Jesus said, "All things have been committed to me by my Father." Since He has all power, our problems, our questions, our struggles, our hurts, our weariness is not too much for Him.
Jesus invites us to find rest for our souls.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." Rest is waiting for us. He is inviting us to rest in Him and with Him.
You look like you could use some rest. Or, am I looking in the mirror. He wants to give us rest for our weary souls. He is inviting you to lay your burdens down.
We need rest. Our rest is in Him.