“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31 NIV
This verse gripped my very core back in the fall. The title in my Bible says “Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand.” You’ve heard this story right? I have heard and read this story more times than I can count. After I read these words in verse 31, however, I had to stop. I read them again and again. It’s like I couldn’t believe what I was reading- that God’s Word was speaking this to me. It was freeing yet challenging. God anointing my head with this grace.
In this story Jesus does feed the five thousand, however, I was glued to the disciples. In verse 30 the disciples were telling Jesus about all they had done and taught. It says in verse 12 that they “drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.” No doubt the disciples were busy and in high demand as word spread about what they were doing. So I imagine them being excited telling Jesus all they had done. But Jesus saw need in them, “so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat.” They were hungry and tired. They had been very busy. This place where they were even reporting to Jesus was busy- people all around. Jesus knew they needed some time alone. They needed time to be with Jesus. So they head off to a solitary place.
Then, in verse 32 it says they were on their way to this desolate place when people “recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them.” They can’t catch a break! So again, there are people everywhere and Jesus had compassion on them because they were lost. Jesus began to teach them and knew they were hungry. Jesus gives the disciples an opportunity to feed them when he says, “You give them something to eat.” They return with a logical answer that they didn’t have enough money to feed them. I imagine Jesus saying “Oh you of little faith,” and then he feeds them with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.
After Jesus fed them, it says in verses 45 and 46 “Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat… he went up on a mountainside to pray.” It was urgent to Jesus that they get away. (Then, Jesus proceeds to walk on the water… nbd.)
- Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith, and I cannot neglect him for good deeds and ministry. Hebrews 12:2-3 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…”
- When I get caught up in the busyness, I forget my need for Jesus. I tend to get caught up in the doing instead of the being. This can lead to selfishness and pride and self-dependency.
- When I get caught up in the busyness, I forget the power living in me! I begin to think in the realm of possibility within my power instead of the power of God. The disciples totally fell into this, and boy do I fall into this! I forget God is the source of life and healing and provision. I also forget my identity and start believing what the world wants for me. It can truly turn terrifying. When opportunities arise, I miss them or have no strength to act.
- When I am not purposeful about spending time with the Father, it will never come. Opportunities to do things are ALWAYS there. There are a thousand excuses and alternatives that I can choose. People will demand things from you endlessly. Jesus sought quiet and sought rest. I need quiet and rest, and I have to plan it and make it happen. I have to say “yes” to it.
- When I am purposeful with spending time with the Father, it is easier to discern what I should say “no” to and what I should say “yes” to. Sometimes I feel empty because I take on too much, but sometimes I am empty because I take on things by my strength instead of depending on God.
At the end of this story EVEN Jesus had to be purposeful about his time with the Father. He went to a place where he knew no one would be, and he prayed.
Jesus is speaking to you and me face to face, “Come with me by yourself to a quiet place and get some rest.”
If you have kids, I know this can be tricky. And no, I do not know what that life is like. But what I do know, is that time with the Father is worth fighting for in our busy and loud and crazy lives.
Y’all, this world is loud and obnoxious, and it’s always telling you how to eat and cook and dress and shop and spend your money and act and be a parent and get a boyfriend or girlfriend… BLAH BLAH BLAHHHHHHHH.
It’s time to fight for quiet.
Where can you go for rest? Outside? Drive in the car? Early in the morning? After the kids go to bed? In the bathroom?… moms, you know.
Maybe we need to turn off the tv, phone, or radio. Maybe you need to call the babysitter.
Maybe you’re thinking, “I have all kinds of quiet time!” Well, BLESS YOU, and please share that blessing with others. Maybe you can help provide quiet for someone else. Let’s be willing to give and even receive so we can all have some quiet.
Let’s fight for some quiet in our lives. Together.