Come Aside…and Rest Awhile

The apostles had been very busy. When they reported to Jesus, He said:

”Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat (Mark 6:31, ESV).

However, the crowds saw where they were going and were at the next place before Jesus and His disciples. He taught them that day. They were hungry. After discussion, Jesus used the fish and bread a boy had brought to feed 5,000 men besides the women and children.

The apostles distributed the food and picked up the leftovers after the picnic.

Now Jesus insisted more. He made (constrained) his disciples to get into the boat and departed to a mountain to pray. Jesus and His disciples needed some “quiet time” after exhausting work.

Before I read with an understanding of the principles involved, I was ashamed to let someone catch me resting. With the phone beside the bed, when it rang in the middle of the night, rather than reaching to answer the phone from my bed, I’d get out of bed, stand up, and answer the phone. When the person calling apologized for getting me out of bed, I’d answer, “I’m not in bed. I’m standing up,” with the unspoken message, “What do you think I am, a lazy preacher?”.

I’m thankful for Mark 6. I now have a book, chapter, and verse for a Sunday afternoon nap. I’m just as faithful as a Christian sleeping when I need to sleep as preaching when it’s time to preach.

I remember when I realized I believed that. It was a Saturday morning when we lived in Dalton, Georgia. The ladies were taking a trip. The wife of one of the deacons called about 8:00 a.m. I was asleep. I didn’t get out of bed.

She asked where she could find the key to the church van. I told her it was in the middle drawer of the desk in the secretary’s office.

She apologized for calling and getting me out of bed.

I told her, “You didn’t get me out of bed. I’m still in bed.”

It’s the first time I remember answering the phone in bed, telling the truth, talking, hanging up, rolling over, going back to sleep, and not feeling guilty.

Thank you, Jesus, Holy Spirit, and Mark, for recording Jesus’ encouragement for His followers to rest when we’re tired.

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Jerrie Barber
Disciple of Jesus, husband, grandfather, preacher, barefoot runner, ventriloquist

2 Responses to “Come Aside…and Rest Awhile

  • Ron Harper
    1 year ago

    A medical doctor once told me that human beings function most effectively if they take a short nap in the afternoon. He claimed that there was sound medical science to back up his belief. He had a practice of taking a short nap every afternoon and worked circles around his younger partners who did not take naps.