June 17, 2024

Perfectly Reasonable

Devotion for the week...

Before we get into today's devotion, just a note to let you know this will be the last devotion until after the summer. While I love writing these devotions, I have definitely reached the place where my brain is ready for a break!

On the theme of taking a break, I was thinking about Jesus' habit of resting. He had so many people clamoring for His attention, for healing, and for His teaching, and yet He always made time to rest. The most famous example of Him resting involved Him asleep in the boat while traveling from one place to another, even as a storm raged around them: "Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion" (Mark 4:38).

At one point, Jesus sent His disciples out in pairs, and they "went out, telling everyone they met to repent of their sins and turn to God. And they cast out many demons and healed many sick people, anointing them with olive oil" (Mark 6:12-13). When the disciples returned, full of stories of everything they had done, "Jesus said, 'Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.' He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat" (v. 31).

Do you see how many demands were placed on Him? He didn't have get a chance to grab something to eat! What I find amazing is that He didn't feel the need to run Himself into the ground trying to meet everyone's needs before He got to take a break. Instead, He looked at all the chaos and decided it was time to step away and rest. He didn't apologize for needing rest or for taking care of Himself. He just said, 'Let's go get some rest' as if that were a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

Because it is!

It is perfectly reasonable to take a break when we need one. It's perfectly reasonable to take a nap, or to spend a few hours reading, or to get away from all the noise to spend an afternoon at the beach. We don't have to earn the rest or make sure everyone else's needs are met before we look after ourselves.

Of course, rest isn't exactly what happened when Jesus suggested they get away. "They left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone. But many people recognized them and saw them leaving, and people from many towns ran ahead along the shore and got there ahead of them. Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things" (vv. 32-34).

The Bible doesn't say how long they were traveling in the boat, but I imagine it was enough time for everyone to get a little something to eat, to relax for a bit, and maybe even to get a quick nap (since Jesus obviously didn't mind sleeping in boats). It wasn't the time away in quiet Jesus had intended, but when they arrived and saw the crowd, Jesus was refreshed enough to spend the next few hours teaching. A little rest can do wonders for our ability to help others.
If Jesus made rest a priority, we can, too | DevotedQuilter.com
We might not always be able to manage hours away on our own, but it's still important to honour our need for rest. If Jesus made rest a priority, we can, too!

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