Listening, Resting, Unburdening
“Girls it’s time for dinner!”
Silence, not in that there was lack of noise for there is always an abundance of noise in my house. No, it was silence from a lack of response from my girls. They couldn’t hear my voice over their iPods, tablets, and DS’s. My girls will have multiple devices going at the same time. For example, Jalynn will have her iPod playing music while she has another game on her DS going while Minecrafting on her Kindle AND playing Mario Kart on the WiiU!
I struggle focusing on one thing! If I’d ask her randomly what was the status of any one of those devices, without blinking, she would answer…and be right!
I make it sound like my girls live for electronics. They don’t. In fact we have 3 “No Electronic Days”. But for the purpose here, I needed to set the scene.
“Girls!! I’m hungry! Come and eat!”
Again silence. You do realize that a hungry daddy isn’t an animal you really want to mess around with. He becomes rather irritable and irrational. In other words, when the belly growls, so does he! So I moved closer, got in their faces and yelled,
“HEY!!! UNLESS YOU WANT TO LOSE THOSE, YOU’LL SHUT THEM OFF AND COME AND EAT!”
Ah, response! And a quick one at that!
You know, I wonder if I cause God to feel aggravated in much the same way. I can get over-occupied with life. It’s really no different. To my girls, these are things they care about. They may seem frivolous to me but not to them. To them, they are of utmost importance at that moment.
I get so burdened down and over-occupied with things that I think are of the utmost importance all the while God is waiting for my attention to turn towards Him, the one that I ought to look to as my answer for everything. But I can’t hear Him gently calling me because I can’t turn down the noise of life to heed the stillness of God. Whether I like it or not, I require a break from what I am doing. But I likely won’t do that if I can’t hear God saying it’s time for dinner.
I can see picture of Jesus calling the disciples to rest in Mark 6:30-32. What’s neat is that it’s not just Jesus calling them to rest, but Jesus also listens to them unburden themselves from their mission. Check it out!
The apostles are gathering together around Jesus. They have returned from Jesus sending them out on a mission. They likely had many stories to tell him as the reported back what they experienced. I would have to guess there was excitement and disappointment. But above all that, Jesus wisely says
“Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.”
Two things to point out here. First Jesus recognizes their need to rest. Have you ever watched your kids play during the hot summer? Eventually, you make them take a break to get a drink of cold water. You know they need it, but they don’t have a clue!
Adults aren’t much different really spiritually speaking. Our Heavenly Father recognizes our need to rest and calls to us. He wants us to respond to His call and just go away with Him for a time.
The other thing to point out is that Jesus also recognized the disciples need to unburden themselves from what they had experienced on their mission. Jesus lets them talk about all that happened, what they did and what they taught. He probably listened to their success stories and their disappointments. In either case, Jesus was allowing them to unburden themselves from the rush of the mission.
In short, Jesus wisely encouraged them to just talk to Him about what they experienced. What was the last time you did that?
Do you realize that Jesus wants to hear about our “missions” too? He wants us to unburden ourselves to him and tell Him all about our day – our successes and our failures – what went right and what didn’t go quite so right. The process of doing this is what I picture when Jesus spoke in Matthew “Take my yoke…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” It’s doing what the psalmist instructed us; “Cast your burdens upon the Lord and He will sustain you.”
Remember Elijah’s experience. God wasn’t in the bustle, but in the stillness.
As this week winds down, find a time to unburden yourself to Him. Tell Him about your week. Don’t think any detail too small to tell Jesus. He WANTS and DESIRES this communication! Yes He endured the cross to save us from sin and hell, but He and His Father desire, more than anything, relationship with you and I.
Take some time and turn down the noise of life so you can listen to God. Don’t be like my girls and have me come and yell at you, or worse, Jesus showing up and yelling at you to get your attention. Choose instead to unburden yourself in His presence. Cast your cares upon Him and take His yoke. And while your up in His lap…
Rest a while.