I’m going away. Not permanently, just for a little while. 23 days technically.
As I prepare to go, I’m trying to put aside the stuff of daily life and ministry. That’s the trick of vacationing really; to somehow disconnect from all the stuff at home and be somewhere different. And I don’t mean just physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually as well.
As I prepare to go, I am reminded that there repeated examples in the Bible of what God can do when we go somewhere different. Elijah received encouragement on Mt. Horeb (after running for 40 days). Moses received life direction at the burning bush. Hagar received a promise from God for her son, Ishmael. Jesus encountered and defeated temptation. In all of those instances, God worked when the people had left their place of residence, their place stress or distress, let their regular lives and stepped away.
And then there’s Mark 6:30-32. Let me put it here for you so you don’t have to scramble for a Bible:
30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 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.” 32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.
Can you imagine, Jesus saying those words to you? The beautiful thing, I believe, is that he still does say those things to us. Jesus set the example for sneaking away to those quiet places where God speaks. Don’t get me wrong, God speaks every day in every circumstance. The problem is usually in the listening. I don’t believe God calls us away to a quiet place so that he can speak. I believe God calls us to a quiet place so we can hear. And here is the Lord Jesus Christ, inviting the disciples away. There are several things buried in here. He invites them away, not just so he can speak to them, but so they can speak to him. So they can share their excitement with what they’ve been seeing God doing through them. He invites them away to share their excitement with each other. Remember, he send them out in pairs in different directions. It was important for them to share with each other the things they saw God doing.
And he pulled them away to rest. As I get ready for holiday, that’s the part that stands out to me. Jesus cares that we get tired, and he wants to give us the opportunity to simply go away with him and rest. God is not always about doing. He’s not addicted to tasks and productivity and activity like our work oriented culture is. God rested on the 7th day, why can’t we?
I’m going to. Well, I’m going try to.
Have a great 23 days.