What do we do when we are really tired? When we’ve ministered, served and blessed others to the point that we feel depleted? I once heard someone say, “The most spiritual thing you can do when you are tired is take a nap.” That may be true, but what happens when that is not possible?
In Matthew 14, Jesus takes His disciples to be alone after the death of John the Baptist, but the crowds follow. Instead of sending them away, He ministers to them, heals their sick and feeds five thousand. At the time when they were tired, grieving for their friend and ministering among the people, they find themselves face-to-face with exhaustion.
“Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him.” (14:22). Jesus then sends the crowds away and then He climbs a mountain to be alone and He prays (14:23).
When we are exhausted, when we have depleted our reserves, Jesus tells us to get into the boat and He takes care of the crowds. It doesn’t mean that we will always get the easy way out, but we need to realize when God is telling us to separate ourselves and rest. Ministering to others can go on, with Jesus leading it, without us.
In the next few verses, the disciples face a major storm, and Jesus shows up. I imagine that the first few hours on the boat were relaxing and refreshing for these seasoned fishermen. God knew they needed that time before the storm came up. So do we. Listen, especially when you are tired, and take the rest Jesus offers you. Get into the boat. You need to reset.
Abba, Father, thank You for the times You put us into the boat and make us take time to restore our souls. Help us to hear Your still, small voice that tells us when we should rest. Help us to be ready for the next challenge. In Jesus’ name, Amen.