He said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while
~ Mark 6:31
How thoughtful Jesus is for the comfort of His disciples! He never wants to overwork them. He provides seasons and places of rest for them all along the way. One of these “quiet resting-places” is the night, coming after each day of toil. Then our emptied life-fountains are refilled. Another resting-place is the Sabbath, after the week of anxious battle and strife. Then it is that we should seek the renewal of our spiritual life by communing with God, by lying on our Lord’s bosom. The Lord’s Supper is another resting-place. The Master leads us into the upper room to sit with Him at His table, to feast our souls on the provisions of His love and grace.
Then there are many other quiet places to which our Lord invites us to come apart with Him to rest a while, — the sweet hours of prayer, alone, or in the house of God, the communings with friends, the sacred hours we spend in home joys. Sometimes the Master calls us to rest a while in a sick-room, away from the noise and struggle of the busy world. It may be in pain or in suffering, and there may be no bodily rest; but our souls are resting, and we are learning lessons we never could have learned in the midst of life’s exciting toil.
One thing about all these “rests” to which Jesus invites us, is that we are to rest with Him. He never says, “go ye apart and rest,” but ever His word is, “Come ye apart.” The resting is always to be with Him. It is His loving presence that makes the blessedness of the rest. There is no true soul-refreshing for us anywhere, even in the most sacred ordinances, if we do not find Christ there. It is lying on His bosom when we are tired or sorrowing or penitent that rests us. Rest apart from Christ brings no refreshing. So we must be sure that we go apart with the Master.