The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest for a while.” For many people were coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. (Mark 6:30-31)
After work comes rest, even for those serving in the kingdom of God. Jesus had sent out the Twelve to heal the sick, cast out demons, and preach that the kingdom of God had come. They returned with news of their success. But they were exhausted from their work, and Jesus knew their need. They needed to be alone; they needed to rest, so Jesus called them away to a season of rest.
What does it mean to rest? I’m not sure I even remember. I live a very active life. But shortly after my father’s death, I stumbled upon a word I had never read before; the word was “fallow.” Fallow is an agricultural word that is both a noun, a verb, and an adjective. It is when a field is plowed but left uncultivated for a time. The purpose of fallowing a field is to allow its fertility to be restored. People need to fallow too. Sometimes, we need to go away or be unproductive for a season. Sometimes our soul simply needs to be replenished. Jesus often withdrew from the crowds and went to lonely places to pray. He also saw the need for his disciples to withdraw. Maybe you need this too. If so, God knows and will release you from your obligations for a time.
NOTICE: Typically, I write the Daily Devotions from September through May. With this entry today, I think it would be good for me to take a break a week early. I am pretty well spent emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It’s time to fallow for a bit. But I would be happy to hear from you any comments or feedback from this season’s Daily Devotions. You can contact me at my church address: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will pick up again right here in September.
Lord, thank you for the seasons of rest you bring. Give us wisdom to take advantage of them when they come. Teach us that seasons of rest are as important as seasons of labor. Renew, restore, and replenish us so that we might praise you in times of rest and serve you well in times of labor. Let all be to your glory.