And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” (Mark 6:31, NKJV)

The smell of applewood bacon beckoned me at the door.

The automatic glass doors of the beach hideaway slid open. I inhaled deeply. The aroma of the buffet breakfast permeated the air. My stomach growled even though I had just eaten. Between the comforting smell, the relaxed atmosphere, and the memories of past stays, it felt like home.

I checked into my room and collapsed on the bed. The sound of crashing waves slowly faded. Sleep wrapped me in her warm embrace.

Early the following morning, I hurried downstairs for breakfast. The dining area faced the ocean through wall-to-floor windows. God raised the sun while I feasted on scrambled eggs, bacon, and southern fried potatoes.

My solo vacation getaway was long overdue. The frustrations of life and weariness of daily struggles had caught up with me. I was exhausted. This much-needed time away would help me rest, regroup, and renew my focus.

Jesus Took Time Away

Jesus knew the demands of a busy schedule. The hot, dry, Middle Eastern climate too its toll on Him and His disciples as they mingled with people. It wearied them spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, and physically. That’s precisely why He called them aside to a quiet place for a much-needed rest. Think of it. He called them away from the clamoring crowds seeking loaves and fishes. Yes, even away from the sick needing healing. Interestingly, He left behind the hurting who longed for His compassion. The point was to separate from the important to focus on the critical.

It is tempting to view ourselves as hardened soldiers in the fight. After all, we are told to “endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” So we plod wearily on, not realizing we’re losing our competitive edge. We simply cannot effectively fight spiritual battles with wearied minds, souls, and bodies. In his book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey reminds us to “sharpen the saw.”  Essentially, we must take time to regain our edge to be effective in our work.

So, take some time for you—away from the important demands of your life. Schedule time away to rest and be alone with God. Read
His Word. Watch His wonder. Hear His whispers. It will be time well spent.

For now, pass the bacon and scoot over. You’re blocking my view of the sunrise.

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