When the twelve disciples returned after their first mission, they gathered around Jesus and gave a full report of all they had done, their experiences of preaching to the people in the various towns they visited and events of healing of those who were sick. After they had made their report to Jesus, Jesus said to them ‘come, let us go to an out of the way place and rest for a time’ and they went off by themselves.
They certainly deserved to have a little time to rest and spend this time with Jesus. It would give them a chance to tell more of the many experiences they had during their time when they had gone in twos to various places. I’m sure they had a lot to share with one another, much like any one of us if we have been away for some time, perhaps on a vacation to some place we have never visited before. We would certainly want to share those experiences with friends upon our return.
It happened, however that their time of R and R was cut short because many of the other followers of Jesus wanted to learn of their experiences and to be with Jesus and listen to his teaching for them. That’s what often happens when we have one thing planned and something comes up and all of a sudden our plans get changed for us. It might be something we’re not exactly looking forward to, perhaps some kind of emergency and we have to put aside or at least delay our original plan.
We’ve all had that kind of experience at least once in our lifetime and probably more than once. Sometimes what has happened that calls for us to change our earlier plans come from the Lord. It might be that He is calling out to us and asking us to change our plans for the good of someone else, or perhaps, it’s a challenge intended for our own good, something that will call us to make a sacrifice that will bring a blessing to another person, whether it is a member of our own family, a friend or even a stranger.
By accepting that call from the Lord we might have to struggle with ourselves and overcome making excuses to step away from the challenge. Sometimes it is only after the call has been answered and we have made the sacrifice(s) demanded of us will we come to realize where the hand of the lord was in all we had to do. Sometimes it is only then when we have taken the time to reflect on all that was asked of us do we see why the lord has called us to share in that experience. It is then that we are able to see more clearly the blessing in the experience, and then we are the richer for it.
It may not have been something at demanded a lot from us but at the beginning we had a tough time coming to grips with what, at first. All we could see is the inconvenience. When Jesus and his disciples saw the crowds coming toward them, maybe some of them had to wrestle with themselves because of the inconvenience of the crowds wanting to be with them and listen and learn more of what it means to be come a disciple. They did not turn the crowd away. After all, that’s what being a disciple is all about. There will be plenty of time for rest later on. If not in this life it will come with the eternal rest we will find with the Lord in heaven.
Yes, sometimes that’s just the way it is. I hope you are enjoying our summer weather.