7 Minute Read

TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

Leviticus 14:1-57
Mark 6:30-56
Psalm 40:1-10

Proverbs 10:11-12

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Mark 6:31 (CSB): “He said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest for a while.’ For many people were coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Biologists us the word, “homeostasis,” which refers to “the tendency of a system, especially the physiological system of higher animals, to maintain internal stability, owing to the coordinated response of its parts to any situation or stimulus that would disturb its normal condition or function.”

14364800_10210899937640232_998189366634408737_nIn simplistic language, this means that nature works to keep things, in a system, the way they are, at least in reference to what goes out and what comes in.

For instance, if you burn 3,500 calories in a day by engaging in some strenuous physical activity, then your body (your system) will work to fill up what you lost (your appetite will go up to make up for the burned calories).

This principle doesn’t just apply to our physical bodies. It can also apply to our emotional well-being.

Do you know what it’s like to have an emotionally taxing day? Maybe you lost your job, or you learned that a loved one passed away, or people kept placing demands upon you and your are emotionally drained.

What did you want to do as a result? Go to bed early? Get lost in a book or a movie? Plan a day off? This is simply your mind and body’s way of keeping you in homeostasis. Your mind and body are trying to regulate your system so that you maintain emotional and physical stability. Your emotional tank is low so your mind and body are leading you to do the things that would fill it back up.

This is exactly what we see when we look at our Verses for Today. Jesus and His disciples had exhausted themselves with ministry. The demands that people had placed upon them had worn them out. So, to maintain equilibrium, Jesus gave some instructions…

Mark 6:31 (CSB): “He said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest for a while.’ For many people were coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.”

Friend, getting away from the stress and finding some way to rest and relax may be the most spiritual thing you can do. There will be times in your life when the demands upon you become so strong and overwhelming that it will be God’s will (something He approves of and is thoroughly pleased with) for you to “come away by yourself to a remote place and rest for a while.”

If you don’t take opportunities to de-stress and relax, you will eventually get dangerously close to “empty.” And, the closer you get to the “E” in your emotional tank, you less people will enjoy being around you and the more poorly you are going to respond to people and situations.

But, there is another principle that we see in today’s Bible reading.

Even as we are preparing for a season of rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation, there may arise a time when we need to get back to work, at least momentarily. There will be people who need us.

How should we respond? Just look at Jesus’ example…

Mark 6:32-34 (CSB): “So they went away in the boat by themselves to a remote place, but many saw them leaving and recognized them, and they ran on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. When he went ashore, he saw a large crowd and had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Then he began to teach them many things.”

Do you see what Jesus did? He was tired and so were His disciples. They were in the boat because they were “getting away” for a time of rest and rejuvenation.

However, people and their needs confronted them as they arrived in the place where they had planned to relax. So Jesus temporarily put His plans on hold and served the people.

Friend, I know what it’s like to need some R&R. I know what it’s like to feel dangerously close to being on “empty” because of the weight of ministry (carrying my own problems plus the problems of many others as well). I also know that I have not typically been happy when I was planning for some time to get filled back up and someone confronted me with a pressing need that required me to “give out” even more … getting me even closer to “E.”

Even though homeostasis was working to get me filled back up, I was in sin to have a heart that so reluctantly moved to help others. We see from Jesus’ example that others come before self. In fact, that is what it means to love others, to obey the second greatest command.

Conclusion

I’ll end with a few bullet points to tie this article up:

  • It is sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do to get away from the things that are draining you in order to get filled back up.
  • If you allow yourself to hit ’empty,’ others will find you undesirable to be around and your heart will resent anything that wants to take more out of you.
  • But, if we are to follow the second greatest commands, to love others as we love ourselves, there will be times that we desire to get away but we will need to choose to help and serve someone else before we do.
  • You can only do this as you are empowered by another source, specifically the Holy Spirit. Rely upon Him, especially in those times when you feel like you have nothing more to give. He will give you what you need in those moments.