“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
I am not a fisherman. In fact the last few times I tried fishing I struggled to pull in trash, got chased by a water moccasin and got my hook stuck in someone else’s ear on another. So I am not a fisherman but it has always intrigued me. I recently learned some interesting things about Rainbow Trout fish. Such as I would assume the best place to catch a fish would be in a lake or on the side of the river in a still pool but contrary the best place to catch a trout is in the middle of the river. Rainbow Trout live their lives swimming against the current. They position themselves in the rapid streams pointed upstream and spend their days watching for food and avoiding obstacles that make their way downstream. If you want to catch a rainbow trout you fish in the rapid currents of the river.
However a fish can’t live all its life in the currents of the river. It has to rest or it will die so where do trout go to rest? They either find a still quiet pool in the river or they go deep. Many times the river currents will carve out areas on the bottom of the river bed that is calm and quiet. In order to rest the rainbow trout goes deep or quiet.
We too have much in common with the rainbow trout. We live swimming in the rapids of live filled with currents. Some of mine are family, meetings and business, people needs, finances, technology or connectedness. We are all swimming against the currents every day and sometimes all day long. So, what are your currents?
Think about them and write them down. Look at them. Think about how do you get rest from them?
Rest is so important. God create the Sabbath, a day of rest for us and commanded that we observe it. On the 7th day of creation God rested, not for Himself but as a model for us. In Matthew we read that Jesus came to give us rest. He also calls us to learn from Him.
Let’s look at how Jesus lived and rested in the currents of His life.
The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.
In Mark we see Jesus was doing ministry and healing people. In fact it seems the whole town showed up to receive healing and to be ministered to. The fascinating things are in the details. Notice in verse 34 that it says “Jesus healed many…” and that is does not say Jesus healed them all. Jesus left ministry undone. Why? I would assume it’s because He was tired. He had been in the currents of this town all day and needed rest. So he stopped and left and see what happens in verse 35.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Jesus went deep and quiet with God. In fact if you look through the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) you will see around 24 times Jesus removes Himself or the disciples for quiet and deep. Jesus knows it’s important to go deep and quiet and models this because….
Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”
Jesus knew his mission and wouldn’t let the currents of life get in His way. He understood getting rest in the deep and quiet was a necessity of life.
If the Son of God had to take time with His Father, then all the more reason we need to. We too need to learn to go deep and quiet because the mission that God has given us to go and make disciples needs our full attention and energy.
I remember hearing about Martin Luther’s prayer life and was inspired yet perplexed. Marin Luther would pray 1 hour every day at the start of his day. If he was going to have an especially busy day he would pray for 2. At the time I was inspired but it didn’t make since to me. However now I get it. Martin Luther learned as we need to that in order to survive the currents of life we must go deep and quiet with God for that is where we continue to find the strength and energy for the day’s mission.
Now get go get some rest.