"Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
Here we are, smack dab in the middle of the strangest week of the year: the week between Christmas and New Year’s. It’s a time when all of the days mush together like a plate of leftovers. The holiday season is ending and we are no longer being ushered along by the events marked on a crowded calendar. In fact, many of us are walking through these days in a blissful fog; nibbling on stale cookies and wearing pajama pants; and while we’ve enjoyed the excitement that this season brings, it feels pretty good to finally get a chance to slow down and rest.
When we consider what we just finished celebrating at Christmas: Jesus coming into the world to be with us, then it only makes sense that a week of rest should follow. Why? Because rest is found in the presence of the Lord.
There is a moment recounted in Mark 6:30-32, when the disciples had just returned from their mission trip and were eager to tell Jesus about all of the things that had been done in His name. There were many people around and so much excitement in the air, that the disciples could not even eat. So, Jesus, being fully aware of all of their needs, says to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:31)
If we look closely at what Jesus says to the disciples in Mark 6:31, He is not simply encouraging them to just ‘go lay down’, He is telling them to purposefully get away and be alone with Him. This shows Jesus’s desire to be personally involved in our times of physical and spiritual rest. He is always reaching out for us to come away with Him to a quiet place, but how often do we accept this offer?
There are days when I am so tired in the morning that instead of getting up early for quiet time, I choose to stay in bed longer assuming that I’ll be better for it. But, on those days, when I attempt to rest on my own, I find myself less revived than I am on the days when I wake up early to spend time with the Lord. When I purposefully involve Jesus in my time of rest, I find myself refreshed in a way that allows me to become a more patient mom, a more understanding wife and a more productive member of His body.
Today, if life has you tired, try to remember that in His humanity, Jesus also experienced what it felt like to be physically and spiritually exhausted. Because of this, you can trust that He knows exactly what you need and that He is perfectly suited to help you through your times of weariness.
This week, as you bask in the residual glow of the Christmas season, accept the Lord’s open invitation to go away with Him to a quiet place and get some rest.
My precious husband, Bill, and I have been planted in Fort Myers, Florida for almost 35 years. As a newly married couple, God most graciously had placed people in both of our jobs to share Christ with us. Its hard to believe it has been almost 34 years since we asked Jesus into our hearts! Bill and I have been blessed with four children, 3 daughters, then a son. These blessings came quickly, all within 6 years!! During these years I'm so thankful I was able to be part of women's ministry classes at our church, helping me to grow in my walk with Him. Then came the day when I was asked that question that stretched me way outside of my comfort zone...will you teach a class? Its hard to believe that I have now been teaching more than 20 years. Bill and I love to travel, most of the time going to visit our 9 grandchildren, oh ya, and their parents! I also love reading, walking and hanging out with some very special young moms in Beloved that bless my socks off!
Julie is a Kansas girl who resides in sunny Southwest Florida. She's been married to her husband Sean for 23 years and they share two boys ages 21 & 17. She enjoys baking and biking, but her absolute favorite thing is snow skiing which is a little difficult to do in a sandy 80 degree land.
She became a follower of Christ at age 10. She loves studying and teaching God's Word. She has a passion for encouraging moms to love and follow Jesus.
Beth grew up in a loving home; however, in her early 20s she faced a very lonely time. During that time, she cried out to God and asked “If You are real, please show yourself to me!” God met her where she was and she trusted in the Lord Jesus at that time. Her life verse and desire is “no matter what happens, to conduct herself in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27
Beth now resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband Larry. The Lord has blessed them by blending their family of five children. They currently have eight grandchildren and are hoping that there will be more grandchildren in the future.
Donna accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of nine and has been amazed at God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout her life. She has been blessed to have had many mentors through each season of life, who have shown her what trusting God looks like. Donna and her husband, Bryan, make their home in central Arkansas. They have five grown children and are grandparents to wonderful grandchildren. Donna enjoys spending time with her family, laughing with friends (usually over coffee), going for long walks with her husband, and reading a good book (which may also be accompanied by a cup of coffee).
Sarah is a true Florida Cracker. She was born and raised in Southwest Florida. At the age of 6, Sarah accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and she hasn't looked back since. Hebrews 13:8 is one of her favorite verses, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Eating delicious desserts, spending time with her family and friends, and teaching people about Jesus are a few of the things she enjoys to do in her spare time.
Sarah has been married to her best friend and husband, Brandon, for 7 years. They have been blessed with one beautiful, determined son, Asher, who keeps them on their toes. Sarah and her family live in the Tampa area. They love exploring their community together, family hugs, and eating pizza whenever possible.
Katie Flint just recently moved back home to Fort Myers, Florida with her husband, Ryan and two children, Collins and Madden. At the age of 5, Katie accepted Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of her life, after attending Vacation Bible School. Through each phase of her life, God has shown her that He alone is trustworthy. The verse that has been her life source is Psalm 46:10- “Be still and know that I am God.”
She is a stay-at-home mom and enjoys exercising and baking. She has been married to her husband Ryan for almost 9 years, who is her high school sweetheart. They enjoy trying new restaurants, family trips to the beach, and relaxing at home.
Marsha grew up in a small rural town in upstate New York. In 2006, after finishing college, she moved to sunny SW Florida where she met her, now husband, Shawn. Together they enjoy spending family time with their two fun-loving toddler boys Zachariah and Kairos.
Marsha enjoys living an active lifestyle, which is helpful, considering that her favorite hobby is baking.
Though she attended church as a child, Marsha was not saved until adulthood when her eyes were finally opened to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Since being saved, God has placed a loving burden on her heart to share the truth about God’s healing grace with those who may feel like forgiveness is not possible for them.