Mark 6:31 “And
he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and
rest a while....”
Today makes six months since my son Buddy had the heart attack,
which ultimately led to his death three days later. I’m perfectly
aware there’s a “Buddy-sized” hole in my heart, which will never
heal. However, I thought surely after six months, I’d have reached a
point where I could function. But it hasn’t worked that way.
Although I seem to be doing better emotionally, my body isn’t, and
I’ve been sick for almost four months. I’ve finally had to make an
appointment with a pulmonologist to find out what’s going on.
After several months of neglect, I have more things on my plate than
I could possibly do, more concerns and worries than anyone could
guess, and a broken heart about a situation beyond my control. Now I
am facing an “enforced Sabbath” of at least several weeks because my
lungs won’t cooperate. None of that has made me a happy camper
because I hate having my activities limited, don’t you?
I especially hate it when I have so much to do and when sorrow or
fear over what I cannot change or control is consuming me. My usual
response to fear is to stay so busy I can’t dwell on it. Rest? It’s
not high on my list of preferred activities. And this wasn’t exactly
the kind of rest I would choose even if I did want a break: a
vacation in the desert, the barren place of testing? No, thank you.
Those barren places are what you want to get away from at the very
first opportunity! Yet that’s where I found myself when I opened my
Bible and read Mark
The disciples had been busy about doing what the Lord had given them
to do, and when they were reporting back to Him, His absolute
direction was to tell them they were to “come apart into a desert
place, and rest a while.” But, Lord, don’t You see the work is not
yet done? Don’t You know there are people I love in a far country
and others I love who need me right now? You’ve said Yourself there
isn’t even time for me to eat. How can I rest in this place of
hardship, this place of desperate sorrow…this desert place?
However, the disciples obeyed and when they did, Jesus took the
pitiful things they had, five loaves and two little fishes, and
performed a miracle as only He can do. And He did it in the barren
place to which He had called them. We can take heart from this,
weary Christian. What feels like chastisement or abandonment in the
wilderness may really be an invitation to rest in the Savior.
Mark tells us that Jesus was moved with compassion, and I’m sure
some of that same compassion extended to his disciples and to you
and me. Oh, that we could trust Jesus in the desert place as well as
in the land that flows with milk and honey! Oh, that we could take
Him at His word! I don’t do it perfectly, but I’m learning. Among
other things I’ve learned in these months since I lost my son, I’m
learning God can give me rest even in the wilderness of my greatest
loss and can then take the little I have and use it to do something
Challenge for Today: What
might happen if we, just for today, chose to trust God in our
wilderness and learned to rest in Him?