”And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” - Mark 6:31
If this fall is for you like it is for me, you’ve probably found yourself much busier than you were during the summer. Family obligations, work, getting back into the school schedule, church events, extracurricular activities and more can fill your schedule and your attention. Phones, tablets, and computers can be helpful tools in the busy life, but they can also easily distract us and cause us to waste time. Perhaps you’ve felt all of those things this month, and your focus on spiritual things has fallen away. Perhaps it’s been quite a while since you’ve read the Bible or prayed. Perhaps you feel the need to spiritually recharge and reconnect with the Lord.
Here’s a quick reminder of a time when Jesus offered this very invitation to His first followers.
In Mark 6, Jesus’ ministry had become very busy. He was constantly followed by crowds who were amazed at His teaching and His miracles. His disciples would have been with Jesus throughout this busyness, and Jesus recognized their need to take a break, get away, and refocus.
What was true 2,000 years ago is true today: it’s good to take time to go and be away with Jesus for a while. But that time has to be made. Our schedules fill up by default. Time away with Jesus only happens on purpose.
In the midst of a busy schedule, when do you make time to be with Jesus?
It’s also true that the time you spend away with Jesus is one of those things where you get out of it what you put in to it. It requires focus to read the Bible. It requires effort to be still and reflect on your life. It requires energy to give your attention to Bible teaching. It takes effort to invest in friendships, building relationships, and having conversations.
I’d challenge you, this week, to make time to rest and spend time with Jesus. If you need some direction for what to do during that time, see the following recommendations below:
Consider the following questions:
- Has it been a while since you’ve read the Bible or prayed? If so, confess that to the Lord in prayer, and ask Him to help you and give you a greater desire for prayer and for His Word.
- Is there ongoing sin in your life? Ask the Lord to show and convict you of sin, and confess those sins to Him in prayer. Thank God for the forgiveness that is there in Christ, and trust in His sacrifice on your behalf.
- What will you seek the Lord for during this retreat? Is there something on your heart: a life situation, an upcoming decision, a question about the faith, or something you feel that you need to know? As you have some time away, pick at least one thing that you will set your mind on, pray about, seek answers in His Word, and have conversations about.
Pick one of these passages to read, think about, and pray about:
- Psalm 37:4-5
- Proverbs 3:5-7
- Mathew 6:25-34
- James 4:14-15