Read: Mark 6:7-13; 30-33
He makes me lie down in green pastures. (Psalm 23:2a)
Walking and resting may seem contradictory. But sometimes we need rest so that we can walk well, instead of just stumbling forward, exhausted physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Have you longed for rest, but because of life circumstances you couldn’t experience it? During one such time in my life, I had no choice but to continue working in addition to caring for elderly parents. Because I was exhausted, I needed the gentle encouragement of our Shepherd to make me lie down to rest, like sheep in green pastures. Maybe you feel the same today.
Jesus knows that his disciples need rest. In our reading today, the disciples returned from a missionary journey and reported to Jesus what they had done. We don’t know how Jesus responded to their accomplishments, but we’re told the most important thing he said to them: “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while” (Mark 6:31). Jesus knew that because of all the people coming and going, they hadn’t even had time to eat (v. 31). Before they could move forward with him in mission, they first needed his rest and his care.
Do you need rest today? Are you stumbling forward in exhaustion or walking rested with your Shepherd? Hear Jesus’s invitation to you: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). Jesus is the source of our rest. Lay down in his green pastures today.
As you pray, commit to resting with your Shepherd when you need it.
About the Author
Nancy Boote, an ordained minister in the Reformed Church of America, lives in Holland, Michigan, with her husband. Besides being a mother, a grandmother, a song writer, and lover of horses, Nancy also has a heart for prayer and seeing racism dismantled.