He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.”
Why does God sometimes put us in a time of waiting in our lives? Waiting on God allows us to recharge our physical, emotional, and spiritual batteries.
Success often gives us a shot of adrenaline. We feel like we can go on and on and on. But pretty soon that adrenaline wears off, and we develop a case of what my hiker friend calls “dumb feet.” If you are on a rigorous hike and don’t take time to rest, your feet start to stumble. If you are not careful, you will end up careening over a mountain. My friend said when hikers get dumb feet, they know what to do: sit down, rehydrate, eat, and rest before trying to hike again.
In Mark 6, Jesus’s disciples developed a case of dumb feet. The Bible doesn’t exactly call it that, but that’s what it was. Jesus had sent out His disciples in small groups to preach, to heal, and to cast out demons, and they came back very excited. They “reported to Him all that they had done and taught” (v. 30). Jesus understood the importance of celebrating your wins. But then in verse 31, after the disciples told Him all these great things, Jesus said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” Jesus knew that His disciples needed some waiting time to recuperate from the great success they had experienced.
Waiting can also be a time when God prepares us for an even greater mission. I was called to be a pastor when I was fifteen years old. After completing seminary and serving for seven years as youth pastor at First Baptist Church of Dallas, I was called as the pastor of First Baptist Church in Eastland, Texas. I can’t begin to explain to you the culture shock it was to move from a big church in a large metropolis to a country town of only a few thousand people. I remember there was a highway that ran through town right by our parsonage. In the next block to the parsonage, there was a furniture store that had furniture out on the sidewalk. On Friday afternoons, my daughter Julia and I would sit on that sofa outside and watch the cars go by for our entertainment. A car came by every twenty-five minutes or so. That’s what we did on Friday afternoons in Eastland, Texas.
I tried everything I could those first two years to get out of there. I thought, “This is a tremendous mistake.” But God said, “You are staying right there.” During the seven years we served there, God did some tremendous things. It was one of the best experiences we ever had. More importantly, God taught me some lessons that were vitally important to the next mission He had for me in Wichita Falls, and ultimately the mission to come back to First Baptist Church of Dallas as senior pastor. If I had missed those years and missed that experience in my first church, then I wouldn’t have been equipped to do what God has called me to do today. Many times, God has us wait in uncomfortable places in order to prepare us for a greater mission.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Secret #3: Wait on God’s Timing” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2017.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.