Today’s Musing is from Marlene McKenna.
At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. —Luke 4:42a NIV
After spending a December weekend in New York City, I have a new appreciation for the crowds Jesus experienced. While we were on the streets of New York, throngs of people were everywhere. It was exhausting! Even though Jesus was surrounded by multitudes most of the time, He purposed to move from one crowd to another showing Himself to be the Son of God—and He didn’t have a nice hotel room as a retreat like we did.
In Luke 4:23-30, Jesus is speaking in His hometown of Nazareth when the audience tries to kill Him. He then leaves for Capernaum, where He frees a man from demon possession and teaches yet another crowd of people at the synagogue. After that, He left to rest at Peter’s house, but found Peter’s mother-in-law sick, so Jesus took the time to touch and heal her—and by sunset another swarm of needy people had crowded around him.
Jesus was pressed, busy, sought after, and needed, but verse 42 begins, “At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place.” Oh, what a joy to know that Jesus needed His time alone with God. He demonstrates that it’s not only okay, but necessary for us to make time to rest and pray. Already by the end of verse 42, we discover the crowds are looking for Him again, surrounding Him, even trying to keep Him from His mission to proclaim “the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well” (vs. 43).
Our Lord and Savior prayed in isolation with His Father and purposed to do God’s will regardless of popular opinion. As for me, when I pull away, I frequently say, “I need to decompress.” So, instead of praying, I may watch an old movie or the cooking channel. Then, when the crowds come, I wonder why I’m overwhelmed. The reason? My armor is lying on the ground. I ceased to pray in the Spirit, and I am weak and vulnerable. In essence I become spiritually dehydrated and have nothing to offer that will quench the thirst of those seeking Jesus. Furthermore, I lose track of my purpose. What is God’s will for this day? How will I know if I refuse to take the time to ask?
In His wisdom the Lord brings crowds into our lives so that we may pour out what He pours into our hearts. He also gives us opportunity for quiet times of rest to pray and be refreshed. This is when we are ministered to by Him, filled with His Spirit, loved on, and equipped. Intimacy with Jesus is found in this, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10b). Be still, quiet, alone, engaged, and relaxed. While staring into the eyes of Jesus Christ we are made new. You are the bride of Christ, and just like in marriage, in order to maintain intimacy you must spend time alone with your Bridegroom … so you know that you know that you know that you are not alone!
Like rushing water the sidewalk still
For throngs of souls make way.
Rumbling through the waves.
The River of bodies bobs up and down
Hits rocks and brush of stone.
Rushing here and there and nowhere at all
Yet they are all
Marlene is a wife, mom, and empty nester. Her passion is writing,
but she also enjoys golf, travel, and walks on the beach.
She loves teaching a discipleship class and longs for
all her sisters-in-the-Lord to find freedom in Christ.
God is gracious,
Sweet Selah Ministries
To inspire a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth of God’s Word that stillness and knowing
Him matter most—and will be reflected in more effective work and service
To offer biblical resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)
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