When the noisy, busy world presses hard against you, do you need to get away to a quiet, peaceful place? Jesus did. Imagine Him caught in a mass of stressed out people, all of them wanting something from Him. Have you been there—surrounded by people wanting something from you? In the Bible, Luke tells us that “crowds of people came to hear Jesus and be healed of their sicknesses, but Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (Luke 5:15-16) Were the crowds too much for Jesus? Did He retreat to escape from the ones who needed Him? Think about His character. If Jesus ran from difficult situations, then none of us would have received His gift of eternal life. No. Jesus withdrew to lonely places not to run from anyone or anything, but to run to His Heavenly Father. Jesus understood the importance of spending time alone with God.
Just before His ministry, Jesus spent forty days alone with God. When He heard that His cousin, John the Baptist, had been murdered, Jesus went to be alone with God. When His body was weary after preaching the Sermon on the Mount and feeding a crowd of five-thousand hungry people, Jesus withdrew to be alone with God. He knew that the key to refreshment and wisdom was His Heavenly Father, and often Jesus parted from the hectic world around Him to speak quietly with His Father and to hear His Father’s voice.
When the world presses hard against you, what do you do? Where do you go? Jesus says, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:31) He is waiting for you, eager to refresh you and give you wisdom to face the stresses of everyday life. All you need to do is set aside the chaos, if just for a moment, and retreat to that quiet spot where you can be alone with Him and pray.
Lord, on those days when the world crowds in on me and there’s always something else to do, remind me that I need to escape to a lonely place where I can rest with You and pray. Amen.