“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.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.” — Mark 6:31-32
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Sometimes athletes are called a “workhorse” when they carry a heavy load consistently for a long time. But even horses cannot run all day without occasionally stopping to eat grass and drink water. As horses sometimes get dehydrated and collapse if they don’t get enough water or adequate breaks, so too athletes, coaches and support staff can sometimes collapse under pressure when they don’t take time to eat or sleep as they strive relentlessly to meet their goals.
As we study the life of Jesus, we see Him spending a lot of time with people teaching, preaching, helping and healing, but we also see Jesus getting away from the noise to rest, relax and refresh His mind to renew His strength. The disciples knew the places where Jesus liked to get away to pray. Before sunrise, Jesus often spent time in prayer. “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35).
When the disciples returned from an important mission weary from their journey, Jesus called them aside to recover their strength and presence of mind in order to be more effective in the future. “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).
Likewise, when the prophet Elijah was weary and depressed, the Lord told him to eat and rest. Then he was fully prepared for the next big events in his life. “Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat.’ He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again” (1 Kings 19:5-6).
We may not think we have to eat properly or rest, but it’s easier to think clearly, be kind and deal with difficult situations when we do. Eventually, we could break down if we don’t recharge.
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia
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