Going Off Alone
By Paris Renae
Monday, April 24, 2017
“After He had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone.” Matthew 14:23 NIV
I’m a list maker. I love to cross off those ‘to-dos’ and see the list accomplished at end of day. I hate having to circle items that did not get completed. How about you?
In the busyness of life, getting overwhelmed or discouraged or feeling defeated is not unfamiliar. I think about Jesus in His few short years of ministry and am amazed by all He accomplished. John even said,
“Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” John 21:25 NIV
Yet many times we are told,
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.” Mark 1:35 NIV
It was often right after these times of rest, of prayer, of connection with the Father that Jesus did the miracles recorded: calling the first disciples, walking on water, healing a man with leprosy.
So I stop and think to myself - when the list is long, when I so want a successful outcome, when I don’t feel up to the task - do I find myself in a solitary place, praying?
No one here on earth could give Jesus what He needed for each day of miracle working, heart healing, disciple teaching – only the Father could give Him that. And while that is the lesson to be learned here for us as well, there are Holy Spirit-filled-believers in our lives that can refresh us. But we have to let them.
How sweet is the company of a sister/brother in the Lord who wants to step in and take something off the list. Sometimes we are so into ‘doing it ourselves’ we don’t accept the cool refreshment of a helping hand.
Other times we fail to recognize that it’s okay to say ‘no’ – and instead prioritize our lives according to where the Father can best use us. We are pulled in so many directions.
What if we go upward first - secretly slipping into the presence of the Father? Then we might just find rest for ours souls and those lists won’t seem so bad.
This requires purpose; we must purposely make time alone with God, the priority. Everything takes practice, the more we do it, the more it comes naturally. Won’t you join me today in lifting up that list to Him first?
Father, You have gifted Your children to be doers – sometimes we take it to the extreme. When we come to You, will You quiet us so we can hear You? Show us what’s most important and give us the freedom to do those things that build the kingdom and touch souls. Show us how to graciously accept help from those who care about us. And may we find, as our Savior Jesus did, that when we go off to be alone with You, great things can happen. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
© 2017 by Paris Renae. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Monday, 24 April 2017.