MIF 5:4 (July-Aug 1973)
After the martyrdom of John the Baptist, the Lord said to the distraught disciples, “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest awhile” (Mk. 6:31). Never was there One so understanding! He realized perfectly the tension and dismay of their hearts. He knew their need of quietness where they could think, of a circumstance to give release from emotional strain. He knew their need of seclusion and tranquility to recuperate from shock and disappointment. He therefore led them into solitude. He Himself went with them.
Our Lord, as the Great Shepherd of the sheep has frequently arranged that His people be temporarily freed from the pressure of heavy responsibility, spared from the discord and tumult of life, relieved from the tensions of business, home and church.
After Luther’s experience at the Diet of Worms, kind friends waylaid him and hurried him to the safety and quietness of Wartburg Castle. There for ten months he was able to relax and regain strength and pose. What an unexpected divine provision!
Through the kindness of God, arrangements between management and labour are such today that men may enjoy a vacation, they may stop work and break the usual routine. They may seek a place for relaxation and change.
Christians might well seek such pleasurable experiences, but they should make sure that they have with them the One who accompanied the disciples during their period of rest. They should remember also to give the Word of God a prominent place in the vacation. It was during his ten months in Wartburg Castle that Luther translated the Holy Scriptures into German for the use of plain men and women.
From Observation one has become apprehensive about the places and ways in which some of God’s people spend their vacation. David has a concept of God omniscience that we all should remember: ‘Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, Thou understandest my thoughts afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways” (Psa. 139:2-3).