"When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick."
All of us try to get away from time to time, and it is important. Whether we are weary from work, the sickness of friends, family concerns or life in the church, rest and relaxation are essential. Unless we find time to stop and intentionally accept the uncontrollable nature of life, we get exhausted and find ourselves getting short tempered with all around us.
After the death of John the Baptist, Jesus tried to get away to a quiet place to rest, pray and commune with his father, but his desire was thwarted by circumstances beyond his control. People in need followed him and his naturally compassionate heart was moved to help them, but the disciples, perhaps trying to protect their Master, wanted him to dismiss the crowd. Jesus listened but told his followers to stretch what little food they had so that everyone might have something to eat.
There are two lessons here. We must rest, but the needs of the poor and the sick are often not convenient and we must respond to them in the moment. Careful discernment is needed. Unless we rest, we will be good to no one, but when there is overwhelming need directly in front of us, we must trust God to give us the strength to do whatever must be done.
Today, be compassionate when you don't feel like it.
What most helps you rest?