The apostles had just returned from the work Jesus had assigned them. He had sent them out two-by-two to preach His Word. They had worked hard and had witnessed miracles. When they returned and reported to Jesus He recognized their effort and realized that they needed rest. As can be seen in the picture above, the rapids of vigorous activity are followed downstream be a quiet period. But there is a bend in the stream beyond which we can't see in the picture. Who knows what happens there, perhaps another period of vigorous activity? This is what happened with the apostles. Times of intense activity and ministry were in their near future, and Jesus realized their need for rest in order to gather strength for going forward. I believe the same is true for us when we follow Jesus. He gives us rest after a time of concentrated ministry because we don't know, even though He does, what lies around the next bend of the river of life. I do know one thing, if Jesus has planned it, it will be exciting and worthwhile. I like the rest, but I look forward to the next task He assigns me.
After Labor Comes Rest
"The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all that 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.'" (NIV)