by Pastor Jim Strelan
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Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went to a solitary place, where he prayed (Mark 1:35).
Read Mark 1:29–39
Do you feel the need to just keep going, keep doing? So much demanded of you, so much you demand of yourself. Not enough hours in the day to get everything done. Some days it seems like we just can’t find a moment to be still. And then some of that exhaustive behaviour we bring on ourselves. If you’re into social media, then you can easily get caught up in feeling the need for constant contact and continuous interaction, to the point that you can get edgy if no-one is responding to anything. Then there’s the question only you can answer: What is it that is demanding so much of you?
Jesus had constant crowds following him, demanding his attention. He healed, he alleviated suffering, and the crowds demanded more and more of him. At the end of Mark chapter 1, we read ‘Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere’ (1:45b).
Jesus chose to find time to be alone. He chose to find time to spend with his Heavenly Father. He chose to find time to pray. He knew what the demands of the day ahead were going to be, so he chose to find a solitary place. He got up while it was still dark so that he could be still before the day began. To just be instead of having always to do. To draw strength. To stay focused. To hear from his Father and align with his will. Especially important for Jesus because what demanded so much of his energy was his ministry of bringing God’s wholeness to as many as possible.
In that solitary place, Jesus received the sure hand of his Father on him for the day ahead. Is that what you need? So you can distinguish between what is important and what is just time-consuming. So you can align your day with God’s will for you and for others. A solitary place. A God-place.
Father, it all gets a bit much sometimes. When I look for a place to set aside to tune in to you, be there. Be there and give me what I need for the day ahead. Amen.
Pastor Jim is a retired pastor living on Brisbane Northside. He served in Papua New Guinea and as school pastor in a number of schools and congregations with schools. He is married to Ruth and has three children and seven grandchildren and loves them all unconditionally. He loves to share the gospel as simply and clearly as he can.