You Can Rest When You’re Dead.


So, if you ever think that Jesus cannot understand what your life is like, take a moment and read Mark, chapter 6.

Now, in Mark, chapter 5, (go ahead, read that, too) Jesus as been someplace called the region of the Gerasenes. Not important, except that he’s not home. Anyway, so there He’s doing amazing work: casting out demons, healing the sick, and raising the dead. Cool God stuff. Making headlines in the Gerasene Journal Bulletin for sure.

So, in Mark 6, Jesus takes His disciples back to His hometown. He tries to teach there. He tries to do the same thing He did in the region of the Gerasenes but He’s home now and no one is into thinking that some kid they watched grow up and build tables is going to turn out to be the Son of God. They’re offended by Him and their faith is so small that He “could not do any miracles there.”

Ever feel like that when you get home from work? You just pulled off a major deal or performed brain surgery or talked a woman off a ledge or taught twenty-five first graders how to write their names and then you get home and everyone there is just annoyed because dinner is late, you forgot to pick up milk and “oh, did you remember to drag the garbage out to the curb?”

So, next, Jesus is traveling around teaching and healing and doing more miracles – one of which is to find twelve men who He empowers to do what He’s been doing. He sends them out and they come back with their own amazing stories but pretty worn out. He tells them they all need a rest and He tries to take them somewhere quiet.
But when they get there, a crowd’s been tailing them and beats them to the quiet place. Jesus loves people so He doesn’t yell and send them all away (like I would); He spends time teaching them, too.

So, by the end of that day, Jesus and the disciples have to be way past tired but now all these people are hungry and they want Jesus and the disciples to feed them.

Ever been there? You’re out taking care of business and you try to get a moment alone but then there are more people in that quiet place who need you so you spend time taking care of them. Then, when you’re about spent, they want dinner and you’re supposed to cook or cough up the cash for pizza!

So, Jesus works out a meal for 5000 with some bread and fish. And, He packs the disciples into a boat to head off for some rest while He closes up shop with the crowd.

Finally, Jesus heads off to the hills for time alone with God. Even then though, as He’s praying, He can see the disciples can’t even handle a boat ride across the lake without Him. A pop-up storm is whipping them into a frenzy so, He sets out toward the boat (on foot – on water – more cool God stuff) to get into the boat with them and calm things down. And even with all they’ve seen, He can tell they aren’t quite getting what He’s trying to show them.

Ever been there? You’re trying to lead a team, you’re giving them your best stuff and they’ve seen miracles but leave them alone for five minutes and they’re coming unglued, ready to throw all their gold into a fire and worship a cow (wait, that’s another story).

Anyway, at the end of Mark 6, as soon as the boat touches shore, another crowd gathers and Jesus just gets to work teaching, healing, casting out demons, you know, exhausting God stuff on no sleep.

So, ever wonder if Jesus understands your crazy days? I think He’s got a clue.

One of the popular t-shirts at my karate studio bears the motto “You can rest when you’re dead.” When I see that motto, I think, well, yes, if you’ve made the choice in this life to follow Jesus into His rest. The other option seems somehow less restful.

You can rest when you’re dead. Whether you’re a mom or a missionary, a minister or a mail carrier, sometimes life just keeps coming, the demands pile up and you’ve just got to keep punching away.

Especially when we choose to follow Jesus, there can be times when the work of caring for others just doesn’t let up, when those around us just don’t get it and those at home are totally unimpressed by our abilities. It’s fine for people to tell us that we need to “get away” or remember to “take care of ourselves” but there are all those other people waiting for healing, for dinner, for resurrection.

Jesus knows we need a rest. He also know we CAN rest when we’re dead because He’s got an amazing place all ready for us to totally recoup from the days of labor.

Sometimes, all you can do is hang on. He’ll never leave you alone and He knows exactly how you feel.

If you’ve been living Mark chapter 6, take heart. Don’t add the guilt of not leading a perfectly balanced life to your load. Just hang on. Jesus is headed right out to your boat.

And rejoice. You CAN rest when you’re dead.


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6 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Andrea says:

    AMEN SISTER!!

  2. Julie says:

    Loved this one, Lori, although I am feeling quite exhausted now….

  3. I think we’ve all been in this place, ladies! Get some sleep!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hallelujah! Death – the best and most needed vacation ever. Can’t wait. -Kate Houghton 🙂

  5. Cheryl says:

    Thanks, Lori, for this one (and really ALL of your writing). This hit me today….keep on keeping on. Jesus IS with me. Amen!

  6. Thank you, Cheryl, for stopping by. Keep me, going, Lord. We may not have endless energy but we do know the source to find it, don’t we? God bless you in all you do, Cheryl.