There was such a swirl of activity around Jesus, with so many people coming and going, that they were unable to even eat a meal. So Jesus said to his disciples, “Come, let’s take a break and find a secluded place where you can rest a while.” They slipped away and left by sailboat for a deserted spot. But many of the people saw them leaving and realized where they were headed, so they took off running along the shore. Then people from the surrounding towns joined them in the chase, and a large crowd got there ahead of them.
By the time Jesus came ashore, a massive crowd was waiting. At the sight of them, his heart was filled with compassion, because they seemed like wandering sheep who had no shepherd. So he taught them many wonderful things.
The last few weeks have been a little crazy at our house. We have had a ton of schedule changes and additions to our typical weekly schedule. One day had run into the next with late nights and early mornings and the demands on my time seemed to be getting greater by the day, or at least adding up. So, by the end of last week…I was done! I was completely spent both physically and emotionally. I am sure that you can relate. I most likely don’t have the exclusive rights to an overwhelming schedule. Many of us live perpetually in the hustle, grinding out day after day, somewhat oblivious to the toll it is taking on our bodies, our minds, and our hearts.
Today’s verses remind me that Jesus knew that feeling too. Can you imagine what it must have been like for him? His ministry on earth lasted just three short years and was sure to have been packed full of scenes just like the one we read about today. Crowds pressing in from every town to see him and hear him – to receive a healing. And just when it looks like there might be a chance for a break…the crowd follows. Talk about demands on your schedule!
The reality is that this kind of pace and load on our daily lives is not sustainable. It requires us to take an honest look at our lives and be willing to surrender our schedules to Christ so that we can be a reflection of how He would have us live. So how did Jesus fight the burnout and emotional fatigue that we can find ourselves in? This week we will take a look at what Jesus did when he found himself in similar situations and consequently explore ways to have appropriate margin in our lives.