By Roxanne Drury
Imagine a day that has been so tiring, so jam-packed with activity that all you want to do at the end of the day is collapse in exhaustion on the couch or in your bed. Here is an example of one of those days. Be warned… You might get tired just reading about this day. Here goes nothin’!
You cart the kids to school in the morning, go to church to volunteer for a couple hours, stop at the post office, the grocery store and to get gas, pick the kids up from school and stop at home long enough for a quick snack for the kids and for them to change their clothes for their activities. You turn right around and head out the door for your daughters’ softball practice, which is immediately followed by the boys’ baseball practices, all done with a toddler in tow.
By the time you get home, it is time for dinner, which you prepare. By this time hubby is home and he helps clean up after dinner. Way to go, hubby! But it is now bath time As you go to gather up your little one for his bath, you find him sitting very content in his room, drawing on the new dresser — and himself — with Sharpies. (Sigh….) Good thing it is bath time.
The little one is now bathed and what we call in our house “jammified,” which means he has his pajamas on. Now it is time to start encouraging the three older ones that it is time to shower. “I don’t need a shower!” “Yes, you do, you are sweaty,” you say. “No, I’m not – not anymore.” Calmly (or maybe not so calmly) you reply, “Please, just go take a shower and I suggest you not say another word. I am the mom and I say go take a shower so go…take…a…shower.”
Does this interchange sound in any way familiar? They understand this tone of voice means we better go take a shower and so they go take their showers. After teeth are brushed and everyone is all set, you head up the stairs for ‘good nights’ and call out, “Time for bed!” “I’m not tired!” is the reply. Needless to say, at this point “It,” whatever “It” is, could easily hit the fan. But, instead, you climb the stairs and give your children an extra 10 minutes to stay up while you check on the little one who is already sound asleep, looking like a sweet angel. You clean up the bathroom and gather a load of laundry before going to kiss your beautiful children good night.
I know you have had days like this. Everyone has. Whether it is at home or at the office, we all have them.
And so did Jesus.
The apostles had been out doing ministry and they came to find Jesus to tell Him about all the things they had done and what they had taught the people. Jesus listened. Jesus sensed that the apostles were tired, and He knew what His day had been like and that none of them had had time to rest or even eat. There had been so many people coming and going, so many people to talk to, so many people asking questions, so many people to heal. So Jesus suggested they find a quiet spot off by themselves in order to rest a bit and perhaps grab a bite to eat. This sounded like a great idea to all of them, so Jesus and His followers climbed in a boat and left for a quiet place where they could be alone.
But wait… The people – people from many towns – saw them leaving and came running along the shore of the lake to meet them on the other side. I could just hear all those people saying to each other, “Let’s head them off at the pass!” This was a huge crowd of people – like 5,000 of them.
Jesus had already had a full day. He had not eaten. He had not rested. Nor had His apostles. But what does Jesus do? He looks out at all 5,000 of those people as He is stepping out of the boat and He has compassion on them. He was hungry, He was tired. But, He is thinking to Himself, these people are like lost sheep, they have no shepherd. And so, He begins teaching them many things. (Paraphrased by me from Mark 6:30-34.)
So often, in our day-to-day lives, we experience days as I described above. It just seems like it is one thing after another and there is no time to rest and no time to eat and then our children push us to the limit. And yet, from somewhere deep within us, we find the strength to keep going; we find patience not to lose our temper; we find compassion to give an extra 10 minutes, just like Jesus.
And when we are just like Jesus, I like to think that God our Father smiles and says, “That’s my girl!” or “That’s my boy!” “She/he is just like Jesus!” And isn’t that the goal?
“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 2:4-5
“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.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.” — Mark 6: 30-34
Roxanne Drury is a wife, mother, grandmother, and retired Christian preschool teacher with a teaching certificate in Early Childhood Education. She has served the Lord in children’s ministry for over 40 years and is currently on staff at Rockharbor Church.