And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” – Mark 1:35-37
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Some people follow crowds. Some follow Jesus. There may be times and places where Christ and the crowd coincide. Not always. We may, though, always find Him as Simon did in the haunts of the lonely, deserted and desolate places.
The Lord ministered to the needs of the crowds. He worked miracles, healed the sick, and drove out demons in broad, public daylight. But the power to do that does not come from the crowd. Performers say they draw energy from their audience. Those who came in contact with Jesus drew from Him. He knew that the woman with the issue of blood had touched the hem of His garment in faith because He felt “healing virtue” flow out.
It was, however, when Jesus was alone with His Father that He renewed and refreshed His strength and understanding. Christians often burn out, fail and fall because they are too eager to respond to the cry that “everyone is looking for you.” Those who spend too much time with the crowds, no matter how well they begin, often end as frauds and fakes.
We don’t have to retreat to the Mojave or the top of some remote mountain in order to be alone with God. You can do it in an aluminum tube flying through the air in the middle seat between Mama Cass and Fat Albert, on a busy street, in a cube in a noisy office. Sometimes you may have to retreat to the shower, the garage, a riverbank, the back of a bike, a woodland trail – whatever suits your nature, your situation, and your preferences. Jesus is not particular. He’ll ride in your car, follow you out to the deck, down in the basement or up on the roof. He’ll run beside you in the park or sit beside you in a tree stand.
People are always going to put demands on your time, the more if you are in any way wise or skilled. The claims of family, friends, co-workers, and others are often legitimate. The Lord does not ask us to refuse those who call to us for help. He only points out that we need to first hear from Him, spend time alone in His presence, and discern His will. No power flows from a dead battery.