A Desolate Place to Find Strength

When you’re at the tipping point…

When there have been too many people, parties, scheduling, problem solving, shopping, doing, rushing.

When instead of listening, you snap.

When instead of practicing love and compassion, you instead find hurt and fear leaking or even gushing out of your heart and mouth.

When you find yourself being ruled by the flesh and not by the Spirit.

What do you do?

While he was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy. And when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged him, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him. And he charged him to tell no one, but “go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray. ~ Luke 5:12-16

Here is Jesus, doing good work – holy work – healing work in fact. And he is met by great crowds following him.

And yet, he does the opposite of what most of us would do.

He doesn’t stay up late, browsing and posting on social media.

He doesn’t stick around, reveling in the glory of the crowds, chatting with the guys.

He doesn’t keep saying yes to invitations and parties and events.

He goes back to the source of his strength.

He didn’t just take a 2-minute time out for a pep talk and prayer with God.

He withdrew to a desolate place to pray.

Desolate. According to dictionary.com, desolate means “deserted of people and in a state of bleak and dismal emptiness.”

He knew that He needed to fill Himself up, not with people, things, or distractions, but with God. He needed to commune with the one who loved Him the most, understood Him the most, and knew intimately what His purpose was.

And this is not an isolated event.

In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. ~ Luke 6:12

And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone ~ Matthew 14:23

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. ~ Mark 1:35

If Jesus knew he needed to take time to go off by Himself to pray, surely, we do too.

Dear one, are you feeling overwhelmed? Overburdened? Burned out? Follow the example of Christ. Find that desolate place and pray. The same God who listened to Jesus is the One who listens to us. But first, we must go to Him

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