And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. Mark 6:31
Though time is short, and there is a great work to be done, the Lord is not pleased to have us so prolong our seasons of activity that there will not be time for periods of rest, for the study of the Bible, and for communion with God. All this is essential to fortify the soul, to place us in a position where we shall receive wisdom from God to employ our talents in the Master’s service to the highest account.
When Jesus said the harvest was great and the laborers were few, He did not urge upon His disciples the necessity of ceaseless toil…. He tells His disciples that their strength has been severely tried, that they will be unfitted for future labor unless they rest awhile…. In the name of Jesus, economize your powers, that after being refreshed with rest, you may do more and better work.
When the disciples related all their experience to Jesus, He understood their need. Their labor had greatly elated and encouraged them, but it had also worn upon them…. A desert place did not mean a waste and solitary wilderness, but a place of retirement and quiet, pleasant to the eyes and invigorating to the body. They sought such a place near a favorite resort on the sea of Galilee…. The Christian life is not made up of unceasing activity or of continual meditation…. He knew that a season of rest and recreation, apart from the multitude and the scene of their labors, would invigorate them, and He sought to withdraw them from the busy cities to a quiet resort where they might have a season of precious fellowship with Him and with each other…. The disciples of Jesus needed to be educated as to how they should labor and how they should rest. Today there is need that God’s chosen workmen should listen to the command of Christ to go apart and rest awhile.