In reading for this 40 day Lent Challenge, I noticed an invitation Jesus made to his disciples after a really busy time. In Mark 6, Jesus had sent them out in pairs to share the news of God’s Kingdom in area villages. When they came back and reported to Him how they’d exercised the authority He’d given them, Jesus could see that they were spent. They’d poured out everything He’d poured into them, but the crowds of people just kept coming. They couldn’t even get a minute to eat! So He invited them to get away with Him to a quiet place to rest.
I suck at rest.
No, really. I don’t rest well. Oh, I can vegetate in front of a TV for a while or lay around with a headache, but that’s not restful. I need to
find make more desolate places in my life. Places where nothing is happening where I can just rest and be renewed by the only One who can find me there. It may not sound restful to you, but at times in my life writing has been a “desolate place” for me, as has running, or hiding out with a good book. But I’ve made far too little space in my days lately for this kind of rest. Rest gets crowded out with data collection and analysis regarding big decisions (which a more objective observer may call “worrying”), with meetings and to do lists, and with one event after another.
But when rest gets crowded out, my cup doesn’t ever get refilled. Once I’ve emptied myself into all the little villages, there’s nothing left. And the renewal that I need so desperately doesn’t happen.
One of the things that God’s been pressing into my heart (or maybe I should say pounding into my skull) during this Lent Challenge is that if I don’t meet Him in rest, then I’m done. There’s just not enough left of me to go around. The good news is that it’s not me that needs to go around anyway, it’s Him. And when we meet Him in His kind of rest, He fills us with exactly what we need to pour into others.
What are your “desolate places”? Are you visiting them enough?