Posted by: Jo | June 21, 2014

Rest A While

“And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while…”” (Mark 6:31 ESV)

image I was reading a very interesting article, just recently, about the terrible effect stress was having in our frantic, busy lives that seem to be the norm in this present day society. The article was discussing the harmful results stress filled lives had on health, marital relationships, work places etc., on teenagers as well, even drifting down to small children who were living with stress driven parents. I was thinking about this article when my daily Scripture reading included the story of Jesus feeding the five hundred, only this time as I was reading, I was made more aware of what preceded this incredible miracle rather than the miracle itself. Jesus and his disciples were so overwhelmed by the huge crowds they didn’t have time to eat, they were exhausted, tired and hungry.

“Then because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat…” (Mark 6:31 NIV)

Jesus immediately realised that to be effective servants of the Heavenly Father and to be prepared for what was to come, they needed to rest

“And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while…”” (Mark 6:31 ESV)

image I was interested to see that Jesus did not say; we cannot think about how tired we are/ we must keep going/ we have to forget about how we feel/ let us carry on regardless, he realised that stopping to be recharged would make them all more effective. I also noted that Jesus talks about going to desolate place. I checked the meaning of “desolate” and one of the meanings was described as devoid of matter. Jesus chose this special place so all distractions to being completely rested were nowhere to be found. What a wonderful example for us all to follow. Choosing deliberately to rest and be refreshed with no blaring music, no idle chatter of others, no texting, no checking that smart phone, only seeking one companion, the Lord to be with, is a sure way of relieving stress. One of the sweetest stories of resting awhile, is the one I read about this old man who frequently excused himself from noisy gatherings by saying, “I am going to sit awhile with Jesus.”

Stress can sometimes feel like a heavy burden that somehow stays firmly around our shoulders, preventing us from enjoying any daily activity, draining us of joy, destroying peace, filling us with fearful thoughts. Jesus offers us a beautiful solution to ridding ourselves of this ugly load;

“Come to me, all you, who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NIV)

image It is very easy to agree we all need to rest awhile, but putting it into practice is another thing. Our first thought may be, “My life is so busy I have no time to sit quietly with the Lord.” One lady told me that she used to think that her life was too frantic to set aside a quiet time, until she realised her life was so frantic she would never be able to survive without first making sure she spent that all important resting time with the Lord.

I always go back to the Psalmists for their wisdom and Psalm 91 is one of my all-time favourites. The writer begins with reminding himself that perfect peace of mind, complete tranquility or stress banished, is to be found in the shelter of the Heavenly Father;

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1 NIV)

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  1. Wonderful reminders Jo From a wonderful teacher passing on the knowledge in dealing with stress from the greatest teacher of all!


  2. Good job, Jo. That is a sweet story of the old man – that’s a wonderful thought and I should practice it more often.
    Another thought came to mind about a saint of old. Upon waking up one morning he thought, you know I have so much to get done today, I better pray an extra hour. That’s not the response I would have made – which I guess is part of the stress.


  3. Thanks again Jo. Jim’s doing just that and it is helping. God bless.


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