Tag Archives: relaxation

Leaving the Oasis

Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, and they encamped there by the water. They set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the people of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai…Exodus 15:27 – 16:1

Some time after they occurred, Moses sat down to chronicle the events of the Exodus. In his telling of the story, he included this obscure little detail in a single sentence in Exodus 15:27. It was very early in their journey, just about the time the reality of the wilderness would have set in (no water, no food, vast wastelands). They found an oasis, complete with shade and with natural spring water, and they stayed there for a short while…a very short while…so short, in fact, that nothing meaningful happened there. And then they left.

comfortIt seems important to note that nothing particular chased them from that place of comfort. They were no longer running from an Egyptian army. They were no longer frantically fleeing for their lives, running to any safe harbor at all. This oasis was a place of comfort and a place where all their physical needs were being met. Logic alone would have said to stay right there for a while, maybe even indefinitely. Couldn’t this have even been God’s answer to their prayers? Couldn’t this have been a “promised land” of sorts?

But Moses is quick to point out that they did not stay there long at all, that they left almost immediately, and who led them to leave this place of comfort was God Himself. The pillar of smoke and fire with which God led them was leaving this place and was beckoning them forward and outward into a vast wilderness …

The Rhythm of Rest, The Malaise of Ministry

Tuesday Re-mix –

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:30-31

The sending out of the twelve in Mark 6 was the disciples’ first real taste of ministry.  Up until then, Jesus alone bore the burden of having crowds pressing in around him with their pains and brokenness.  But for this short time, Jesus filled the disciples with the miraculous powers of the Spirit.  Suddenly, they were casting out demons, healing the sick, speaking amazing words of wisdom and drawing the crowds.  Quite apart from Jesus, each of the disciples were, for the first time, feeling the long hours of bearing the burdens of broken people following them all day long insisting on miracles and healings and words of wisdom.  For the first time, the disciples had to deal with the utter exhaustion of personal ministry.  No surprise, then, that Jesus addressed their exhaustion when they gathered back together for their debriefing.  Jesus’ very first words to them were words of wisdom to every pastor and minister today…

Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

Every leader in the church, EVERY LEADER, must take seriously these words from Christ.

Even the secular world has figured out this eternal truth.  Nobody wants a surgeon operating on them when that surgeon is in a state of exhaustion.  Nobody wants a pilot flying their airplane when that pilot is sleep deprived.  Nobody wants truck drivers operating 18-wheelers on our highways when they are falling asleep at the wheel.  When none of …