Mark 6:31 reads, “And He (Jesus) said unto them. Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while; for three were many coming and going and they (the disciples) had no leisure so much as to eat”. The context of this scripture is that Jesus has just instructed the disciples that they should go out two by two as they witness and he instructed them to take no thought for themselves because the Father would provide. To compound the setting for this scripture Herod had ordered John the Baptist to be beheaded and the apostles had gathered around Jesus and told him all they had done and heard, including the beheading of John. It was then that Jesus invited them to come and follow Him as it was now appropriate to rest and begin some quiet time as many issues were pressing from every side.
In 33 years of ministry, I am struggling to recall how many messages I’ve heard from the pulpit about taking a break, getting away and resting. It just isn’t the sort of topic that we minister preach about but there is no doubt scripture demonstrates the importance. Personally I guess we are afraid to talk about taking a time-out because we have a fear we will quit, give-up or never return to pick up the cause again. We don’t give out or encourage the invitation that Jesus issued out of our own fears and misapplication. This invitation from Jesus to come and get away to a desert place to rest a while was to allow for their spirits to be recharged for the cause. The invitation was not to contemplate quitting, or to begin a pattern of depression, to allow for fear to overtake your spirit, or to give reason for total surrender of your gifts and talents. The direct opposite was the intent.
Taking a vacation, going off to a place of rest for a weekend, taking a break from activities is perfectly within the Will of God. The design of such breaks and getaways in scripture are to allow us to reinvigorate our confidence in God, His plan for our lives and our commitment to follow His Will. Jesus knew the importance of such moments in our lives. If only we here are earth would learn to follow His demonstration.
Follow Tim Mills on Twitter @THMills.