Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.
Mark 6:30-32 NKJV
These few verses are encouraging when we find ourselves overwhelmed by the demands of the world – but seeing them in the greater passage of the whole chapter reminds me that there is little time for rest and that Christ will provide the strength, He will be the source of our strength to continue in the work that He has in store for us. It reminds me that we can find comfort in our trials by opening our eyes to the circumstances of others and comforting them.
The beattitudes in Matthew 5 tell us the recipe for receiving the “for they shall” by being “those who”. Verse after verse, we are reminded to look out upon those around us and offer them what they need – even before we realize the treasures of doing so. These verses are asking us to “just trust me I’m the Lord, I know a better way than yours”.
If you’ve ever been mourning and fretting and concerned over your own troubles – can’t you look out onto those around you and find someone else that is greatly troubled and hurting? And when you do something to help them, or when you just mourn along with them, doesn’t it give you a new perspective of freedom from the chains that were binding you? Doesn’t it open your eyes?
It’s only when we bottle it up inside and keep it to ourselves, when we cling to it that we become imprisoned by it. Let it go by letting others in to help you – bless them with the opportunity to listen and to stand with you. And look for others in need and stand along with them. It is hard to be tired and sad when there is work to be done helping others.
Yes, this is the way of Christ – not religious practice once in a while – but a life lived following His example step by step, day by day. And this is the abundant life with blessings poured out onto those you serve and love – and onto your own life as your purpose becomes about more than self.