Taking Time For Self

However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed. (Luke 5:15-16)

Taking Time For Self

The ministry of Jesus was an exhausting work of preaching, teaching, healing, and traveling from region to region. When Jesus would come into an area, the word spread the teacher and healer was there, and multitudes flocked to Him. On a few occasions, over five thousand people gathered to hear the teachings of Jesus. As Jesus touched each diseased person, laid His hands on the blind and mute, and restored untold numbers of people to their health, the energy was sapped out of Him, and He grew weary. There was not only the physical toil of His ministry but the incredible intensity of the purpose of His mission. He knew what He came to do. More than once, He would tell His disciples He would go to Jerusalem and suffer many things and then be killed. Jesus was fully aware of what suffering awaited Him, and He was constantly remembering when the hour would come. He pressed on. And He seldom slowed and missed opportunities to teach others.

On more than one occasion, after teaching and healing multitudes of people, Jesus would withdraw Himself to a quiet place for meditation and thought. He would go to a mountain and pray all night. Sometimes long before the sun’s rising, Jesus went out by Himself to a solitary place and prayed. There was a time when the people wanted to make Jesus their king, but Jesus left them and went to a mountain to be alone. He also went into the wilderness to be alone with His Father in prayer. Jesus needed to take time for Himself. He made it a practice in His busy ministry to carve out time away from the crowds so He could be alone. Judas knew where to find Jesus on the betrayal night because the Lord often went to Gethsemane as a place of prayer.

Life can be filled with a lot of activity. There never seem to be enough hours in a day. Everything that needs to be done is seldom done, and schedules are straining under the weight of too much work to be accomplished. People live hectic, rushed, and chaotic lives that never seem to slow or calm down. Excuses are given why there is little time for self-meditation, prayer, a study of God’s word, or fellowship with those of like precious faith. There are ballgames, concerts, practices, parties, shopping, lawn care, fixing broken things, filling out the honey-do lists, recreation, and checking every form of social media that vies for constant attention.

The endless activity of life consumes people who cannot go through an hour of worship to the Lord Holy God without checking their phones for social updates. When the invitation song is sung, phones light up to see what was missed in the last 54 minutes. Social media has stopped couples from sharing, children of learning, and society in general from taking time for themselves. There is no time. The irony is that someone will say they need to get away and be by themselves but cannot leave their phones. Life is consuming. It is overwhelming. Minds are filled with the constant beehive of activity ad nauseum.

Jesus took time for Himself. If the Son of God knew the importance of going to a quiet place to be alone (and no cell phone), what makes any human being think they should not need the same – and more? Life is not as busy as it is presented to be. We create life to be what it is, and we allow life to run our lives into the ground with never-ending activity. Jesus took time for Himself – we must take time for ourselves. There is a time to remove yourself from the hectic pace of a hurried life and spend time alone in prayer with God. The Lord is not interested in your cell phone. Leave it alone for a few hours (or more) and prove you are not addicted. God needs your time – alone – all by yourself. Is life busy? Find a mountain or wilderness and GO by yourself and be ALONE. You will be amazed how refreshed you will be.

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