And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.”Mark 6:31

I’ve often read these words of Jesus with difficulty. When He says come away to a desolate place and rest, it jars with me. To me, desolation means an end, a conclusion; the desolation of a city usually means it’s utter destruction. Ruin.

I don’t want to see a place of misery and despair as somewhere I can rest and recharge my soul.

Before Jesus undertook full-time earthly ministry he was tempted in the wilderness. There, in the desolate place,He was able to connect with His father and stand firm in His identity as both Son of Man and Son of God. He was able to deflect the temptations of the Satan because he was fully aware of His identity in God.

So when I pause to reflect, I realise that it is in the empty ruins of our own abilities and efforts that distractions are removed. There wecan begin to refill our hearts with purpose and direction if we rely on the unwavering promises of our Father.

It is in this place thatwe also have the opportunity to listen to the heartbeat of heaven and develop an understanding of God’s desires for us. Bydisowning our own works and scheming for advancement, we begin to see again the fantastic plans and desires our Father.

Why not consider drawing back a little from the hubbub of life to find your rest in the empty place? Is your world is crashing down around you? Has the fulfilment you thought you once had become a dry and empty landscape? Begin to trust Father God to keep helping you find out or rediscover who are you in him.