It sounds like a Sandals commercial, accompanied by soothing music and a picturesque view of waves crashing on a beach underneath a perfectly orange sunset.
But...(spoiler alert), they are actually the words of Jesus in Mark 6:31.
Some might say that's the best sentence in the Bible.
The disciples have just arrived back from their first mission and Jesus knows they are worn out. They have expended themselves and he is offering them some much needed rest and relaxation. The problem is, they don't get it. For as soon as they head out in the boat the crowds start to follow them, and Jesus is back to work again because, "Jesus had compassion on them for they were like a sheep without a shepherd."
That's the story of our lives isn't it? Just when we think there will be a little breathing room, a short break to catch up on chores, or that hour of extra sleep we long for, another need pops up. And being people of faith, it is our responsibility to not ignore the needs around us.
And yet, there is a delicate balance, isn't there? Sometimes we can perceive every need that is presented as one that only we can fulfill, and overcommit ourselves. Where in reality, if we take the time to think about it, someone else could help and lighten the load. Other times, we make excuses of not having or being the right match for the need just because we are too lazy, too unmotivated or too afraid to try something new.
I think there is a clue here in how we find the balance of it all. In the passage, it said Jesus "had compassion on them." He saw their needs and he empathized. He knew it was his responsibility to meet those needs as best he could. The rest would have to wait. It was Jesus' compassion on the people that gave him the strength and energy to keep going. Jesus doesn't have compassion fatigue.
When we hear this, we might think, there's never a break. But on the other hand, if we are in the crowd that is waiting to see Jesus: the mother of a child that is waiting to be healed, or the woman who is at the end of her rope and needs to hear hope, or the man who is so overwhelmed with responsibilities that he feels his life is not his own, aren't we glad Jesus doesn't leave?
So where are you in the crowd that is longing for your needs to be met by Jesus? Is Jesus asking you to spend some time allowing yourself to be healed? Or perhaps you are needing to spend time at the feet of Jesus' teachings. Or maybe you want to reconnect with a sense of compassion for the needs around you in order to continue the message of Jesus.
Or maybe, just maybe, it is your time to take a look at that beautiful sunset and give thanks to a God who always wants to meet our needs. After all, Jesus kept working that day until the sun went down.