Lonely Places

Have you ever listened to the Bible being read out loud? Lately, I’ve been listening to the book of Luke through the YouVersion Bible App. When I listen to something I’ve previously read, I hear it differently, and gain a fresh perspective. And through this listening, a few things have jumped out at me.

Especially this…

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. – Luke 5:16 NIV

For some you reading this, you might think, “Yes! Finally Jesus does something I can do! Withdraw and be by myself. Now that… I’d like to do.” And others of you might say, “Be by myself! That sounds like hell!” No matter where you rate yourself on the continuum of introvert vs. extrovert, there’s something in this one verse for all of us.

If you said either of the statements above in your heart, you’ve missed the whole point.

To the person who loves to be by yourself,
when you withdraw to pray, you are not alone.

To the person who hates to be by yourself,
when you withdraw to pray, you are not alone.

Jesus, in this passage, has just recruited some disciples, he’s healed some people, he’s been teaching a little and he knows his deep need to refuel and refocus. He knows he’s got to connect with his father in order to remain healthy.

If Jesus, the Son of God, God in the flesh, knows his deep need to withdraw to lonely places and pray to his father… how much more do we desperately needto do the same thing?

Jesus found peace in the lonely places, but in the lonely places, he was never alone. He withdrew from everyone and everything around him that was pressing in on him, that was expecting something from him, and he connected with his father and he found rest, peace and strength.

How much more do I need that? Exponentially more. And you do too.

If I could challenge you to do one thing today, it is to stop long enough to be alone and seek more of God through prayer. Ask him to show up in your life, ask him for more of his Holy Spirit, ask him for more of him and less of you. Then you will find rest, peace and strength to face whatever lies ahead. I pray God blesses you with some quiet, focused time with him today.