Sitting with the Shepherd
Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him. (Mark 1:35-36 NKJV)
Jesus was busy, very busy. The context of these verses tell us that in the evening after the sun had set they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon possessed. And the whole city was gathered at the door. We claim to be busy today, but there are few who can equal the pace that Jesus kept. And in His humanity, He was subject to the same fatigue as we are. When reading these biblical accounts of Jesus' earthly life we must never downplay His human limitations.
For those who are busy, morning presents the most favorable, and often times the only feasible time to be alone. And even then, in Jesus' case after He had arisen a long time before dawn and departed to a solitary place, they still came looking for Him demanding His attention.
Now today some of us have a favorite spot in our homes to meet with the Lord. It may be a room, a porch or even a study. Perhaps we have a favorite chair surrounded by books, pictures and a warm cup of coffee or tea. In Jesus case those were luxuries that simply didn't present themselves. Even so, He went far away, early, and by Himself for a reason. He wanted to be alone with the One He loved the most, His Father.
"Prayer is essentially the practice of His presence. True prayer is talking to God. It is claiming audience with God. Resolute in the purpose not to neglect prayer, nor yet to use it merely to get something from God, we need to seize upon it with renewed avidity, as the opportunity to commune with Him, to school our spirits in responding to His Spirit, to practice His presence." NORMAN B. HARRISON
Harrison, Nick (2010-12-21). His Victorious Indwelling: Daily Devotions for a Deeper Christian Life (p. 170). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
"Blessed is the soul who hears the Lord speaking within her, who receives the word of consolation from His lips. Blessed are the ears that catch the accents of divine whispering, and pay no heed to the murmurings of this world. Blessed indeed are the ears that listen, not to the voice which sounds without, but to the truth which teaches within. Blessed are the eyes which are closed to exterior things and are fixed upon those which are interior. Blessed are they who penetrate inwardly, who try daily to prepare themselves more and more to understand mysteries. Blessed are they who long to give their time to God, and who cut themselves off from the hindrances of the world." Thomas à Kempis.
Thomas à Kempis. (1996). The Imitation of Christ (p. 93). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.
Questions for Personal Reflection or Discussion
1. What are the seemingly urgent things that prevent you from spending time alone with God?
2. What time of day do you find it best to be alone with Him?
3. Why is a daily time of fellowship with God not an option for you?
My Father in heaven, my God blessed be Your Holy Name. Thank You for the times that we get to spend alone in intimate fellowship. I confess that there are times when I allow seemingly urgent matters to interfere with our special times of fellowship. Thank You that You are never too busy to meet with me. I love You. Amen