"The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught. 31 Then 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." Mark 6:30-31 (NLT)
There are so many words in this passage of Scripture that have such a modern tone to them. First off, reading that the apostles returned from their "ministry tour" really caught my eye. You don't have to be traveling from conference to conference or church to church to feel like you've come from a ministry tour. Maybe you've spent the day at church, then off to the hospital to pray for someone, then to a baby shower, and then to a small group. That is quite the ministry tour. What if you are a traveling speaker and your head longs for your own pillow and for your children to sleep in their own beds? There is so much weariness in that phrase "ministry tour." We've all felt that weariness. The endless expectations.
Yet in spite of the workload (and the fact that later in the passage it says there were so many people coming and going that didn't even have time to eat), the disciples were excited to tell Jesus all that they had done and taught. There is a bit of a high at times from all we get to do as ministry wives. There are times when teaching is fulfilling and ministering to others exciting. Sometimes we feel important because of all we get to do. Sometimes we pat ourselves on the back. However, there is also a low to that high. We can get overloaded, overwhelmed, and distracted from our Shepherd with all of the urgent tasks set before us. We can confuse the burdensome yoke of endlessly pleasing others with the yoke of Christ that is easy and light.
The coming and going and all of the people can deplete us and completely wear us out. But Jesus knew the answer.
"Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile."
That is so hard to do! All three of those descriptors in that sentence are difficult for us--
Yet those three are key. We have got to learn to replenish ourselves with the presence of our Shepherd, our Creator. He's the Creator of the ministry and calling that you have. And He is the Shepherd that leads us through the mazes of life. He is the one that provides the peace, the direction, the strength and joy to continue. We can tend to live our lives as the "Martha" but we need to choose what is best, like Mary, at times and sit at the feet of Jesus and soak that in. We need His presence and His rest.
Come find a place to rest at Sanctuary. Our sole motivation with this ministry is to offer you a place to take time out of this busy world of pouring out, and find a quiet place to rest awhile and be poured into. It takes courage to take those three steps. We pray that you do.
Psalm 46:10 (NASB) says, "Cease striving and know that I am God."
We all need time to cease striving and just rest in the knowledge that He is God.
Casey Graves is a wife, momma to two girls, and co-pastor/planter of Foundations Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She enjoys a good cup of coffee with a friend or a family date day when she finds some spare time. Casey recently published her first book, Perfectly Weak, soon to be in print, and blogs at We Are Perfectly Weak.