Posted by: glorifyhim1 | June 6, 2018

My Resting Place

My Resting Place

“I am at rest in God alone.”

(Psalm 62:1a)

 

I have a few places that quickly come to mind when I think I really need to get away to get some rest, to relax and get recharged. No matter how beautiful or restful a place may be, however, sometimes rest – true, peaceful rest – is hard to find. We may be tired from a hard day’s work, or perhaps we are weary from a heavy load we’ve carried far too long. Yet even in our weariness, we may be unable to discover true rest. How do we come to a place of true rest when we are weary, anxious, discouraged and spent?

 

Recently, I was reading in Mark 6 about a time when the disciples of Jesus were surely weary.

 

Jesus had sent the disciples on a mission – to preach repentance, to cast out demons, to anoint and heal the sick. As they worked, they heard the news that King Herod had sent an executioner to behead John the Baptist who was in prison. The disciples went to the prison, took John’s body, and placed it in a tomb. Then they gathered with Jesus to tell him about their journey and all that they had done.

 

Don’t you know they were tired? They were surely tired from their journey and work, but as they struggled with the death of John the Baptist, they were probably also emotionally spent. What did Jesus say to the disciples? “He said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest for a while.’ For many people were coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat” (Mark 6:31). Jesus called them away to a quiet place – to rest awhile.

 

However, by the time the disciples arrived at the quiet place, it was no longer deserted. Many people, knowing Jesus, ran ahead on foot and arrived ahead of them. When Jesus saw the people, He was moved with compassion and began to teach them. The text does not tell us what the disciples did while Jesus taught, but as it began to get late, they said to Jesus: “This is a deserted place, and already the hour is late. Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread; for they have nothing to eat” (Mark 6:35-36). But Jesus told His disciples to feed them. The disciples responded in disbelief. How could they feed so many people? Jesus told them to find out how much food they had which was a young boy’s lunch of five loaves and two fish. Jesus blessed the food, broke it into pieces, and gave it to the disciples to distribute to the people. Not only did everyone eat and were filled, but there were 12 baskets left over! Could it be one basket for each disciple who was tired, hungry, and emotionally spent?  

 

Once again, Jesus sent the disciples away in a boat to the other side of Bethsaida, while He sent the crowds away. When the disciples were in the middle of the sea, Jesus could see them struggling to row the boat because of the wind. Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. At first the disciples were frightened, thinking they had seen a ghost, but Jesus called to them: “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid” (Mark 6:50b). He got into the boat with the disciples and the winds ceased.

 

As I thought about these events, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the disciples. It seemed that ability to truly rest just kept on escaping them. Yet, it occurred to me that in each situation, the disciples found what they needed in Jesus. Perhaps their rest did not come the way they expected. Yet Jesus helped them find their rest in Him.  

 

  • Jesus saw their need. The disciples needed rest, encouragement, and strength.  
  • Jesus helped the disciples see Him and what He could do. They brought him the meager lunch they had and Jesus multiplied it to supply food for the hungry crowd and the worn out disciples. Was anything too hard for Him?
  • Jesus revealed His control over His creation – He walked on the angry sea and He calmed the wind and waves. And the disciples “were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled” (Mark 6:51b).

 

And, ultimately, Jesus showed His disciples and us as well, that He, Himself, is our rest and peace no matter what difficulty or storm that we may face. He fully knows our need; He can meet our need; He is in control! We can rest in Him, His mercy and grace, and His faithfulness to us.

 

Just as the disciples did not clearly understand, we do not always fully comprehend either. Sometimes, we cannot make sense of  the circumstances or situations in which we find ourselves. We may not really know what we need or the answer to our problems, but nothing is too hard for Jesus. We can discover rest for our souls even in the midst of chaos and confusion when we keep our eyes on our Savior and place our trust in Him. Jesus invites us to come to Him and to find the rest for our souls that we all so desperately need. He is my true resting place, the One in whom I can always take refuge. He can be your resting place, too!   

 

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

(Matthews 11:28-29)

 

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