The apostles gathered themselves together to Jesus, and told Him all things. And He said, 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.
Christ loves His own. He knows their fears and He knows their needs. The apostles were weary and tired, fearful, and distressed. The great prophet and voice of one crying in the wilderness… the one who had prepared the way for Him Who was to come, had been cruelly murdered to suffice a foolish promise. The beloved John who cried out: "Behold the Lamb of God"… the one who had pointed many of these same men to the One that stood among then – he had been slaughtered in an orgy of lust and crudity, and so they gathered themselves to Jesus. Should not we in like manner gather ourselves to the Source of all calm? Should not we similarly flee to the Lord and rest under the pinions of His love? Should not we cast all our burdens upon Him – for He cares for you too?
The world is being rocked by earthquakes and submerged in mud-slides. People are rushing hither and thither to seek for answers and search out solutions. Many eyes are being distracted – removed from the Source of understanding. Men’s hearts are failing within them.. believers and non-believer alike. Ofttimes we are like the disciples who get fearful of the crazy things around us. Sometimes the distresses that are coming on the world can cause us to fear. Should we not listen to the still small voice of His perfect peace that loves His own.. and come aside to the fountain of Life and drink deeply of Him.
Despondency contracts the soul and withers the heart. Depression renders one unfit or unable to receive His inner peace. Discouragement magnifies the burden and renders it too heavy to bear. Distress is the outcome of a heart that has not anchored itself on the Lord.
He calls us in His gracious tones to come aside and rest awhile too. "Come unto Me", He gently whispers in His still, small voice. “Come unto Me and I will give you rest". "Come ye yourself apart into a desert place and rest awhile." "Come to me, that ye might have life". "Come, come, come and follow me". "Let him that is athirst, Come". But there are those that He bids to "Come" … "but they will not come".
There are many desert places that we can slip into, in the most tumultuous of days. One resting place is the night-time, where our empty life-fountain can be refilled. One is the morning-time as we awake to find ourselves resting in His love. One is the quite-time where He so delights to still our anxious thoughts as we rest in Him.
Sadly, in this increasingly dark world, many lives are in a state of unbroken anxiety. Other fret and fume, while others search relentlessly for unachievable answers. To be perfectly at rest amid the hurly-burly of daily life is a secret worth knowing. It is only achieved in a life abandoned to the Lord – a life that trusts His Word. Looking away from the raging world and fixing your eyes upon Jesus. It is achieved by the one that will come to Him – and rest.
One wonderful thing about the 'Rest' that the Lord invites us to participate in is that we are to rest with Him – "Come – Ye… Come Ye Apart.. and rest", He said. But we are also to rest IN Him – "Abide in Me and I in you, as the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you". John.15:9 – Abide in My love – Remain in My love – Rest in My love.
It is His lovely presence that gives us the blessedness of rest. It is His loving grace that truly refreshes the heart. It is lying on His bosom, when we are tired or fretful, that gives us His peace. This is no mere sentimentality. His rest is more real than the clamour of the world in which we sojourn. It emanates from the love of the Father to the Son. It is a divine Life : a divine Love : a divine Rest.
As the Son rested in the love of the Father through His life and death and grave, so the love of Christ is to be our rest in and through this time of turmoil. And how do we achieve this divine life, this divine love, this divine rest? You must believe that His promises are binding and true. You must rest in His Word for He Who said it is faithful and true. You must believe that it IS possible so to live moment by moment, resting in Him.
'But how" you ask. 'How do you reach the rest that He has promised you?' Turn away from the visible, if you would possess the invisible. Take time with the Lord Jesus and gaze on His loveliness. Fix the eyes of your heart on Jesus and away from the world’s ugliness. Turn away from your own efforts and from faith in yourself, and allow Him to occupy your thoughts until He is resting within your heart. Come away from all else and set your heart, your thoughts, your mind on Jesus.
Don’t seek the answers from others but occupy yourself with Him. The apostles gathered to Jesus, and He said to them, "Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while". But this is still His desire for each of us today. "Even as the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you. Remain in My love. Rest in My love."
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