I close the bathroom door and breathe a sigh of relief. Thirty seconds of solitude feels like a dream, until knock, knock, knock. “Momma?” The little one comes looking, as thirty seconds shrinks to ten, and I can’t remember what it was like to be alone.
I imagine the disciples felt this way after a long season of ministry (Mark 6:7-13)—poured out, spent, and ready for solitude. And this is exactly what Jesus suggests: “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while” (v. 31).
Scripture tells us that “many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat” (v. 31). Seem familiar? Jesus’s prescription must’ve sounded just right.
But what happens next is quite the opposite of what these tired men had expected:
Instead of being alone, they’re swarmed by a great crowd:
And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. (vv. 32-33)
Instead of resting, they’re catapulted into ministry:
When [Jesus] went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. (v. 34)
And instead of taking a break to eat, they’re the ones doing the feeding:
And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” (vv. 35-36)
Once again, sound familiar? What you desperately need is solitude, rest, and even a bit of nourishment, but instead you’re given a knock, knock on the bathroom door, a stolen Sabbath as your spouse ends up working, and a virus—another virus—when health and energy would make you parent better. Mind, soul, and body, you simply don’t have what you need.
Or what you think you need.