“And he [Jesus] said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.” (Mark 6:31)
Jesus and His disciples had been busy spreading the gospel and working for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God. They had just received news that John the Baptist had been beheaded. The disciples were sad, tired and worn out because of their spiritual labors and the stresses that come with it.
Jesus invited them to take some time away from the multitudes and from the active work of the Lord to rest and recuperate. “For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust”
(Psalm 103:14). Jesus recognized the importance of getting away from the stresses of life and taking time to rest.
True ministers and gospel workers carry great burdens for the souls of people around them. At times the needs and burdens can almost become overwhelming. An elder minister in our congregation said that “sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is to take a nap.”
The work of God can actually be benefited when ministers take some time for rest and recuperation. Ministers are often driven and pressed because of the call of God and the weight of the work that needs to be done. Many ministers have had nervous breakdowns and their health broken. It is needful at times to get away for a few days or weeks to a ‘desert’ place, away from the normal activities of life, and be refreshed and renewed. It can be a time of gaining a fresh vision and perspective and an occasion to reprioritize the work of the Lord. When people are rested, their minds are clearer and they accomplish more. It is imperative for us to recognize, as did the Lord, that we need to take time to “come apart and rest a while.”