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Up at 4:30 a.m. with a crying baby (the crying baby part has been the norm during the night over the last week or two). Might as well get up and write. And then go make some coffee.
I read this passage last week for BSF and have been meditating on it ever since. Such timely words for a busy and tired mother.
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)
They were busy doing God's work.
So bombarded by people that they didn't even have time to eat. They were exhausted.
Jesus took them away for a time of rest and quiet.
BUT the crowd ran ahead of them.
Jesus landed at what He thought was going to be a quiet getaway . . . and there were thousands of people, waiting for Him.
He responded with compassion and began to teach them.
My days are a bombardment of little people and it's not unusual that I forget to eat. Last week I told Bryce that I couldn't remember the last time I sat down for a proper hot meal and didn't have to feed three littles while simultaneously trying to get some sustenance into myself. And when I try to plan or move toward a time of rest, it seems like the children have a 6th sense of my doing so and run ahead of me to sabotage any such plan. My response usually: frustration, anger, despair, blame, self-pity.
Which is why Jesus' response in this story brings such great conviction. Compassion allowed Him to willingly change His plans. Even though He needed the rest and quiet, Jesus' heart was moved by compassion and He immediately shifted plans to teach . . . taught them all day and then provided a massive dinner for everyone. Jesus viewed the people through eyes of love: seeing them as helpless sheep needing His care right then, so He sacrificially ignored His own need and jumped in to serve.
I am challenged by Jesus' movement toward compassion when His plans of (much needed) rest were thwarted. Ah Lord, change my heart to be moved by compassion in the midst of everyday mothering, especially when I am tired and selfish and overwhelmed. Give me courage to teach and deny myself and love sacrificially.
(I'm having to practice as I preach this...a certain little boy is super fussy and hardly even letting me write. Which is rather annoying. I was hoping to knock out a bunch of blog posts....oh well. I'm off to snuggle and wipe a runny nose.)