By: Jon Henson, Associate Pastor at Apostles Houston
May 17, 2019
35 It was very early in the morning and still dark. Jesus got up and left the house. He went to a place where he could be alone. There he prayed. 36 Simon and his friends went to look for Jesus. 37 When they found him, they called out, “Everyone is looking for you!”
38 Jesus replied, “Let’s go somewhere else. I want to go to the nearby towns. I must preach there also. That is why I have come.”
Life can be exhausting. With all of the dynamics that life has and throws at us, life can be exhausting. As a result, we can embark on a never-ending journey and search for rest and peace. In fact, we often work harder, take more on, and pile up more pieces of life on our life plate in hopes that at the end, we get away, we can rest. At the end we can breathe because we have done all that we can and all that we need. We have worked in order to then rest.
While this may be the easiest default for us, is this the example that Jesus set for us? For some, we seek time alone with God as a means of removing us from those life exhausting situations and seasons. We bear down to work in order that we may rest at the end. Our silent and solitude time with the Lord is a time of escape and recovery from all that we have gone through. Jesus though, shows us something different. Jesus redefines this view of solitude to be for preparation, preparation for the call ahead. Jesus, who definitely has a claim to living a busy and chaotic life, intentionally takes time to go off to be alone with the Father. It is this time that propels him forward, forward for the work that God has given him, even the work of dying on the cross. These moments of rest, or solitude, do not serve to help him decompress from life but rather serve to give him life.
How different would things be if solitude was a practice of preparation rather than recovery? How would that impact our understanding of discipleship, of ministry, of serving?
Heavenly Father, helps us to slow down. Help us to go to the isolated places where we can meet with you. May we enter that time ready for you to equip us, empower us, prepare and send us out to do the work that you have given us to do. It is by your strength, your love, your grace, that we are able to any and all things. May we do this all in and for the sake of your name and glory. Amen.